Indulgence vs. Regret: Investing in Future Memories

I was reading a paper published by Anat Keinan who is an assistant professor in the Marketing unit at Harvard Business School. I find the following results interesting:

Good news for makers of $20,000 watches and other luxury goods and services. Recent
research from Harvard Business School professor Anat Keinan and a colleague suggest that we
often regret not indulging ourselves earlier in life. Key concepts include:
• People can be too farsighted, or hyperopic, leaving wistful regrets of missing out on life’s
pleasures when they look back at how they spent their time.
• It’s possible to motivate consumers to indulge themselves by simply asking them what they
think they will regret in 10 years.
• Marketers can convince consumers that buying their product is actually a farsighted behavior,
an investment in future memories.

The findings seem to suggest that we should give in to our buying impulses and they in turn will create good memories for us in future. Maybe we can tell our children and grandchildren about them.
But the million dollar question is, do any of us remember where we shopped 10 years ago and what caught our fancy but we didn’t buy?

If we follow Ms. Anat Keinan logic then it seems that Paris Hiltons, Victoria Beckhams, Lindsay Lohans all are creating big time pleasant memories for the future. That will seem strange to any logical thinking person. It means that Abhinav Bindra who has spent the last ten years of his life in a shooting range and did nothing except shooting, won’t have pleasant memories to reminiscence about? Or I know some persons who slogged like anything to pull out their families from lower middle class strata to upper middle class strata. Would they regret that in future?

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