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THINK ABOUT YOUR FUTURE by Shifting (Psychologically) to Your Future SELF…

1 April 2014 No Comment


“The short-term result of an action and the long-term result of
an action are typically different and often *opposite*.”

~ Eben Pagan

When you make your bed, you have to lie in it, and if you treat your future with neglect and abandon, you’re consequently treating your future self to a set of circumstances based on carelessness and disrepair.

Remember that the future you is actually going to be YOU (in the future). This comes as a “blinding flash of the obvious,” I know, but Kelly McGonigal talks about this in The Willpower Instinct: about how people often forget that the actions they take which affect their future will actually be experience by they themselves; that we tend to treat our future as if it’ll happen to another person, fundamentally…

How This Dynamic Plays Out

This dynamic plays itself out in countless ways, from your diet and health choices to your purchasing decisions and sexual life. If, when it comes time to take constructive action, you say to yourself…

“You know I really don’t want to do this, but in the future I’m going to be glad I stuck to that nightly exercise routine even though I was tired.” or

Be free of unwanted fear

“I want this shirt (or new gadget) now, but what I *really* want is to hold on to as much of every dollar I earn as humanly possible…for the rest of my entire life…and then some.” or

“I can tell – just from being around this girl – that she’ll be good for my personal-growth and maturity in the long run, so I’ll talk to her even though it’ll probably be five or six months before she gives up the poom-poom.”

…then you’ll really start to see what I’m saying, because this is how you get your logic to override your emotions (by manipulating your perspective to that of the long-term).

If every time you face a willpower-challenge, you psychologically time-travel to your future, it makes it far easier to act in line with that envisioned identity, à la the Golden-Self from the movie Limitless (2011)

limitless abbie cornish bradley cooper robert dinero imdb movie poster golden self

So don’t visualize the things you want, envision yourself as THE PERSON you want to become. Don’t be materialistic and think about all the consumer-gadgets or tangible goods you want to collect; be philosophic and consider the character you want to personify and embody…this is what gives you the “discipline switch” to turn on whenever you face a temptation or obstacle.

As Nas said in Nas is Like, we’re all “Making choices that determine our future under the sky.” That being so, THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE by shifting (psychologically) to your future self, and act in accordance.


Discover more great insights, techniques, strategies and wisdom for self-mastery and artistic success in my new book, How to Conquer Yourself: Discipline & Willpower for the Conscious, Creative Thinker, available on on Amazon here. (For autographed and personally-dedicated copies, delivered much faster, click here)

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