How Do You See Your Future Self

change future future self goals identity Apr 14, 2020

Is your future self a total stranger?
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Or do you feel like who you are now is exactly who you will be?

The amount your circles overlap represents how attached you feel to your future self (“future self continuity” - Hershfield, 2011)โฃ
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We know from neurological studies ๐Ÿง  that when thinking about our future selves, our brains “light up” in areas similar to when we are thinking about OTHER people. โฃ
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And neural activity is in a different area when thinking about our current selves.โฃ
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BUT this differentiation varies between people.โฃ
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โญ•๏ธ Circle overlap determines how similar your brain activity is when thinking about you right NOW versus FUTURE you.โฃ
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Why you should care โคต๏ธโฃ
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The more your circles overlap, the more likely you are to act based on ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ด-๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—บ ๐—ด๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜€, ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป.โฃ
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When there is a sense of similarity & familiarity between your current and future selves…โฃ
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๐Ÿ“Š You’re less likely to cheat, lie, and not follow through on promises (Hershfield, et al. 2012)โฃ
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๐Ÿ“Š You have increased patience with financial decision making (Bartels & Urminsky, 2011)โฃ
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๐Ÿ“Š AND you’re likely to report being physically and mentally more healthy (Rutchick, 2018)โฃ
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^^ In in this last cited study, people were also 1.43x more likely to exercise after writing a letter to themselves 20 years in the future, compared to those that wrote a letter to their “in 3 months self”โฃ
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This isn’t just a fun personality quiz, it’s psychological & neurological science with behavioral evidence.โฃ
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Worried you don’t have enough overlap?!โฃ
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Here’s an exercise for you to work through:โฃ
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1๏ธโƒฃ Imagine the future (not success, just you in a random future situation) โฃ
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2๏ธโƒฃ Describe: what can you tell your future self that you are going to do right now to start helping them out?โฃ
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3๏ธโƒฃ Consider: What would your future self thank your current self for?โฃ
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If there are some things in your life that you want to change, to help out your future self...โฃ
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4๏ธโƒฃ Picture yourself changing, or not changing. โฃ
How do you feel? How does your life look?โฃ