I feel a certain pride when my clients geek out on their "Future Self."
So imagine my excitement when they were chatting about the recent TED Radio Hour: "Future You!"
This is what got them churning: Turns out it's not just our habits and fears that keep us from taking the kinds of actions that WE KNOW will serve us ten or twenty years into the future. Our wiring works against our best (future) interests. The brain sees our futures self as . . . someone else.
Research shows that when we view ourselves and other people in this "othered" way, don’t we relate to them. Worse, we don’t CARE ABOUT THEM.
So much of the work I do with my clients is around SELF-COMPASSION.
When it comes to envisioning our Future Self, I encourage my clients to get to know her so that they learn to care about how they will lives their lives twenty years from now.
Why? Because when we care about her, when we relate to her values and her committments, we are more likely to make certain choices today that will SERVE who she will become tomorrow. You remember Wimpy from Popeye? His life runs on a scarcity loop: “I’ll pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today,”
Wimpy, like ourselves, isn’t relating to the Wimpy he will be on Tuesday when he, once again, will not have the money to pay Popeye for his hamburger. Wimpy DOESN'T CARE about his future self.
To state the obvious - when we act in the small ways that demonstrate our care and compassion for our future self, WE ALSO BENEFIT OURSELVES TODAY.
Is there a way to give a little more to your future today?
Can you allocate your resources differently today?
What would it look like if you were kinder to your future self today?
How would your actions or choices also benefit you today?
Get to know your future self, and take care of her today!