Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Motivation | Work on behalf of your future self

A while back, I brought up the concept of the future self.  In the post, Yesterday you said tomorrow, I talked about the future self as someone we whom we trusted to somehow miraculously do the things that we weren't willing to do today.  If I say to myself "next week, I'm going to the gym everyday," I'm handing off action to my future self. And time after time, our future self continues to let us down.

The problem with our logic of relying on our future self is two fold:
1. The future self we speak of resides in the short term future.  Yet we somehow believe that within a few hours, days, or weeks, we'll make vastly different decisions than we do now.
2. Delegating work to someone who doesn't want to do it now is a bad idea.
May I present to you an alternative method that might be much more effective.  Instead of relying on your future self, know that your future self is actually RELYING ON YOU.  Every time you have a goal you want to achieve, you're actually saying "in the future, I want to experience this."  You're (long-term) future self has high standards and wants so much for herself.  She's relying on you to take the steps today that give her what she wants tomorrow.

There's a price for everything.  If we want bottle of a soda, we reach into our purse and pay a dollar for it.  We should think of our intentions in the same way.  There's a cost.  Sometimes it involves money, sometimes the cost is action, often times it's a combination of the two.  We pay now so we can enjoy it later.   Our job is to work diligently to give our future self everything she wants.  If you identified goals at the start of the year that aren't yet a reality, it means that you aren't allocating enough of your resources (time & money) to achieve it.  If you truly want those things on your list, then get to work.  A portion of your daily activities should be geared towards meeting the objectives of your future self.

This weekend, I took a look around my office and had the revelation that my current environment was a representation of my past self.  There were books on the shelf that I hadn't looked at in years.  File cabinets containing reference materials from over 5 years ago.  There was nothing that signified where I want to be. This, to me meant that my future self wasn't a priority.  After I made that realization, I started to quickly plan out my next steps.  I'm trashing the file cabinet and all of its contents and will remove the old books from the shelf and decorate in a more modern way in alignment to the kind of environment that my future self will enjoy.

The reality we experience today is a bi-product of every decision we've made in the past.  Let's be grateful to our past selves for our current experiences. And, let's adjust our present actions so to make our future selves proud.








 

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