Your Future Self is YOU

After reading this article on on 5 Ways Your Brain Tricks You Into Sticking With Bad Habits, it dawned on me how much of this is true, even in my own life.

It’s very easy to keep bad habits but much harder to change.

And the point they made in the article that so many people fall trapped into is this idea that the person they are in the future is a completely different person than who they are now. It’s as if at some point in the future, they will no longer occupy their body!

“That guy in 2013 is not me! He can deal with all the issues I’m creating now!”

So this makes it easy to do unhealthy things in the present- like eat junk food, smoke, over-indulge on booze, miss workouts…even down to piling up debt on credit cards and acting crappy to people.

Homer doesn’t often have his future self in mind.

I think this is what happens for many people when they get married. They go into it unsure of what they are doing.
“Oh it will probably work out.”
“There’s always divorce!”
“Once we’re married everything will be great!”

I think for me I lived in this world when I first invested in real estate. Buying 10 houses seemed like such a great idea in the present.

What happens if I get stuck with these houses and the market turns down? I’ll deal with it later, when I’m somebody else of course!

Or the classic drinking one:

“Might as well keep drinking, it’s so much fun and I’ll be a different person altogether tomorrow to deal with the hangover!”

It also reminds me of the reaction I get from some people when I talk about the idea of reversing aging. It’s a very real thing that will probably happen in my lifetime. And at some point, there may even be a cure for aging, resulting in indefinite lifespans.

But I’ve heard this reaction all too often: “Oh I don’t want to live much past 80 or so.”

This makes zero sense to me!!!

Let’s say you’re 80. Are you a different person than say when you were 40? I mean is your mind different? Will you suddenly just want to die tomorrow “because you’re past 80”? (and with the anti-aging technologies coming, 80 will feel more like 40 in the future so what would be the point of wanting to be dead?)

Your future self is YOU, no matter how different your body, or hair, or lack of hair, may be.


  1. PeteSisco

    People who say they don’t want to ‘live past 80’ suffer from lack of imagination. A few thousand years ago people mostly died around 25. Maybe some of them said, ‘I don’t want to live past 40.’ 
    The basic point they miss is that we can live longer because we are healthier. By the end of this century people might start to feel ‘old’ around 150 and they might say they don’t want to live ‘past 175.’ Medical science and technology will move ahead at an accelerating rate. This can only be a good thing.

    1. PeteSisco Great points Pete! It’s all what we’re conditioned to believe. “80 years is a long time” will seem silly in the coming decades.

Comments are closed.