What you do today affects your future self’s experience of your life.
Hear me out…
Overeating today results in gaining a pound for You tomorrow.
Going to the gym or exercising provides energy and health for your future You.
Leaving a sink full of dishes tonight leaves your tomorrow-self with a mess to take care of.
Maintaining organization of your space creates a nice environment for You.
Why Considering Your Future Self Matters
If you zoom out and look at the choices you make moment to moment from a perspective of taking care of your future self, then it is often easier to make decisions that are in your long-term best interest.
Feeling good now, being lazy, putting things off, and indulging in pleasure are all impulses coming from your primal brain.
Most of the time your primal brain’s wishes are short term feel-good and long-term net negative.
Like eating sugar; feels amazing in the moment and then feels icky and addicting afterward.
Making long-term decisions for your self takes activating a different part of your brain, your prefrontal brain.
Your prefrontal brain can plan and can delay instant gratification for long term gratification; gratification that sets your future self up in a good way.
How often do you make choices that have your future self in mind?
Try thinking of your future self next time you want to skip exercising, put off paying a bill or watching hours of tv; zoom out and question if it serves your future self.
This tool is one of my favorites; it helps me gain perspective on the decisions that I make and gives me an objective space to be in when I am considering indulging.
Sometimes I indulge anyway… and I fully accept the net negative that comes with it.
Doing so allows me to avoid feeling guilty and beating my self up for indulging.
Thinking of my future self also helps me shift habits that I want to change.
Primal Brain and Prefrontal Brain Functions