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

1 April 2014 2 Comments


“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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  • Jennifer Nwosu said:

    Hi Bryan,

    I came across your Youtube channel last night after doing a search for motivation and so far, I’ve found that a lot of what you have to communicate really hits home.

    Although I know I am internally motivated, I haven’t felt outwardly motivated with my work life for some time. Looking for a new role has taken more time than expected and internally I have been battling with being employed and being self employed. I’ve had time to consider certain elements of my work life and I’ve realised that I give far too much to my employers than they give to me, and for the first time in my life I genuinely see myself as an asset worth millions!!! and I’m no longer willing to be short chnaged!

    I could relate to you when you mentioned the comment your friend made – the fact that you were every intune with yourself. I think that for many years, I have failed to see my strenghts because I simply thought that everyone had those qualities.

    I’m at a point in my life where I want to be the real me and carve out my life in a way that speaks me!

    In writing to you, I would be so grateful for your mentorship/support in helping me to realise my true self both in the external and internal world. I believe that my life is meant to be very different to what’s been and currently is and I’ve come to a place where I no longer have a need for so many of the old me!!

    Thank you


  • John said:

    I know I’ll be sorry I commented on this article later, but I just can’t resist doing it right now!!!????

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