Do What Your Future Self Will Thank You For
If you are in your 20’s or younger, today’s topic might be a stretch for your imagination, but you are exactly the age that will benefit the most from this exercise.
You may have heard an older person say that their past feels like it happened to someone else…that they were a different person then. I think I first felt this in my early 30’s, as I thought back on high school and college years.
Today I want to challenge you to think about your future self in new ways:
- Your future self will not be exactly as you are now.
- Your future self will be shaped by your daily decisions.
Your future self will likely surprise you. You can plan and have goals, and you should, but most likely life will throw you curves and opportunities and experiences that will change the direction of your life. We will meet inspirational people, go through challenges we never imagined we could, and discover new interests and talents we never knew were in us.
Once you realize this truth, it changes your perspective. It should add an element of humility when we are setting goals or making statements about our future. You’ve heard the phrase “never say never!” It is a form of self-centeredness and pride to assume your perspective is the end all, and that not just you, but the world will not evolve and change, making your plans subject to change. I try to remember to say the phrase, “at least that is how I think about things now” to my opinions.
Realizing people change should also help you have mercy toward yourself and others. Give yourself and others grace with past mistakes.
Your future self will be shaped by the daily decisions you make now. It is comforting to know that you do have some element of control of your future self. One of the most important responsibilities you have to yourself is taking care of your health. How you age is largely a direct result of your eating and exercising habits. What kind of 65 year old do you want to be? 75? 85? Do today what your future self will thank you for!
The goals you set today set the direction of your life path, so they should be well thought out. What education you choose, the career path, the person you marry, where you will live; these are all major decisions that form the strong branches of your tree of life and smaller branches of opportunity and challenges will grow out from those branches. If you make a great number of unwise decisions your tree ends up looking like a tree with branches sawn off, and although some sawn off branches do not ruin the tree, (pruning is necessary) if there are too many major branches sawn, it effects the beauty and health of the tree. Your future self will thank you for thinking about the big picture when making your daily and major decisions.
Do what your future self will thank you for, my friend. Look around. Observe people older than yourself. Talk with older people. Seek wise mentors. Be humble and learn from your elders. You will hear many regrets and many “thank goodness’s” that you can learn from. And someday, sooner than you may realize, it just may be your future self that is sharing wisdom with a young person.
For more on the perspective of Your Future Self, watch this video: