To learn how to own your future self, you must first realize that the present self is not static. People tend to have a cognitive bias when it comes to their opinions about their future selves. We all tend to think that who we are today is the self that will always be.
But that’s very far from the truth, simply because if we stopped for a moment and remembered ourselves 7 years ago, we will be surprised at how much we’ve changed. It’s harder to imagine ourselves changing in the future. We think that our present self is the ‘real’ and ‘finished’ US, but that’s not right, and it’s not healthy. We are always a work in progress. Therefore the future self will always be different from the present.
Your personality, taste, emotions, and attitudes are constantly adapting to the environment, whether you are in control of it or not.
What Could Happen If You Don’t Own Your Future Self?
Problems might happen when you don’t own your future self. Overlooking your changing self might be fatal.
Imagine you didn’t think once about the health of your lungs and kept smoking, believing that your future self will always be like the present self. Now, imagine 10 years past, and you have lung cancer because you became a heavy smoker over the years. But this scenario could’ve been prevented by owning your future self and controlling your present self from dominating.
Sometimes the present self thinks only about pleasure, forgetting reality. We must learn to remember the nature of reality, which is constant change. This way, you will be able to own your future self.
Below Are The 3 Steps That Will Help You Own Your Future Self:
The 1st Step: Own Your Future by Distinguishing the Former, Present, and Future Selves
Most people cling to a sense of false identity in the present, which keeps them from growing and controlling their destiny. We must not be saying things like “I’m a weak person,” “I’m bad at parties,” “I will never make it in…,” etc. Instead, try to avoid labels because they’re only limiting our identity.
Mindfulness is an excellent exercise in this case. Paying attention to your behavior over the years will show you the hidden truths that you were blinding yourself from seeing. One good mindfulness exercise is measuring progress. Try to see how things have changed to a positive outcome now, thanks to your past decisions.
You’ll notice that time plays a mysterious role in changing everything. And with your mindful attention, you can change many aspects of your present self that you thought were constant in months, maybe days.
The 2nd Step: Own Your Future by Imagining the Desired Future Self
Existential philosophy tells us that all humans absolute freedom and thus responsible for their decisions no matter how out of control we feel. Having total freedom can be terrifying, but it’s also liberating. Ultimately, we have the choice to change our present situation. In other words, you can dedicate the present moment, from time to time, to shaping your future self. You can do it by setting short terms goals and achieving them. Setting clear, realistic goals is how you can shape your future self.
But first, you need to imagine a future that motivates you because motivation is the driving force that will make everything easy. Hope alone is insufficient; hope needs motivation as a backup.
Your future is always on the horizon; whether you help shape it don’t, it’s your responsibility.
A piece of practical advice about this prospect is to step out of your comfort zone that your present-self sets for you. And learn to be flexible. Another piece of advice is not to be afraid to ask yourself for answers like “what do you want to be in 5 years?” and “what are the things that you can do to change?” Over time, you’ll become better.
We will end with two quotes to motivate you to start imagining a better future self. Here are the two quotes:
“Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity.” –Seneca
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” ―Mark Twain.
The 3rd Step: Own Your Future Self by Changing Your Identity Narrative.
Personality and identity are very intricate concepts. We can say that your personality and attitude are the byproducts of your identity. Your identity narrative is the story you tell yourself about yourself.
You must not identify with the past and present self; that leaves no chance for you to build your future self. Your identity narrative must include the future self that is coming to be. Although you’ll be faced with hard work and uncertainty, that never stops humans. We are powerful creatures once we unlock our full potential.
You have to remind yourself that your identity narrative can change to fit the future self that you want.
Envision your future, ask the world to deliver, and do your best to strive for it. You might fail from time to time, you might find it difficult, but always remember that you can change your path.
“Yes, there are two paths you can walk by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.” -Led Zeppelin.