What is Your Relationship with Your Future Self?Jan 11, 2024
In the 1990s, Conan O’Brien incorporated a segment called “In the Year 2000” in his late nigh talk show. He would propose different outrageous and funny possibilities of the future, “all the way in 2000”. When you were in the mid 1990s, the year 2000 seemed far away, seemed somewhat foreign. When you were in 1999, the statements proposed about what would happen in 2000 were quite ridiculous.
Have you thought about what your future self is like? Say, 1 year, 5 years or 10 years from now?
Many of us have not seriously looked into the future that way. The future self seems to be someone non-existent, unknown, or a stranger at best. We all have some kind of a future. Even though we do not know how long our time on earth is, why not get to know who you will be in the future?
When we do not know our future self, we tend to focus on the present. Don’t get me wrong, living in the present is an important part of experience life, and just immerse in the being. However, being disconnected with the future will likely lead you to live day to day. You may tend to make decisions based more on impulse and what satisfies you in this instant, rather than focusing on the long run.
For example, if you are disconnected with your future self who wants to be healthy, you may decide to cave into your cravings of eating 3 big scoops of ice-cream before gong to bed.
Without a meaningful relationship with your future self, you are more likely to choose what gives you immediate gratification, even though that choice may harm you in the future. Take the above example. By choosing to satisfy your cravings, and if this is a consistent habit, you are more likely to develop obesity, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. Since the future seems foreign to you, it is difficult for you to make the connection of what you do now affects your future.
When you do not explore your future self, you do not imagine what is possible ahead. You may think that you will be happy if you get into medical school. When that becomes reality, you find something else to believe in the future. You are constantly living in a looking forward to the future mode, yet the future seems intangible. The future seems to be a black box, a mystery, something that will never come. You do not realize that the future has you in it. You do not realize you are creating now what your future will be.
By connecting with your future self, you will make decisions based on your long-term goals. You will focus more on your well-being and success. You are less likely to make impulsive decisions or bring about sabotaging behaviors. You are more likely to take better care of yourself. This translates to a better future. You will have better health, better career, better relationship with others.
To connect with your future self, first, know that your future self exists. Pick a time frame in the future. Say, five years from now. Visualize yourself, 5 years from now. Pay attention to all the details: how you look, where you are living, who you are with, what kind of work you are doing, the kind of relationship you have with others, etc.
Repeat the visualization of your future self repeatedly, preferably daily, even only for 5-10 minutes. The more you see your future self, the more tangible he/she is.
Communicate with your future self. It may help to write a letter. Be as detailed as possible. Take some time to do this exercise. Think about the little things.
Care for your future self, just as you would for your loved ones. Always make decisions to benefit your future self. Invest in your well-being to improve your character, your maturity, your ability to even better care for yourself. You are the one shaping your future. By having a meaningful and loving connection with your future self, you are creating a bigger and better future.
Are you ready to stop feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Are you ready to have more time to do what you want?