An interesting strategy for a better life is to put yourself in the shoes of your future self periodically. What would your future self have wished you were doing now?
This strategy can be termed “Borrowing Decisions from your Future Self” and can be useful in various situations.
For example, let’s say you are considering eating a large piece of cake. Your future self would likely not be happy with this decision, as it would lead to weight gain and health problems. By “borrowing” the decision from your future self, you can avoid making a choice you would regret later.
This strategy can also be used when it comes to saving money. If you know that your future self will want to retire comfortably, your present self can decide to start saving now. By doing this, you are essentially borrowing the decision from your future self and making it easier for them to achieve their goals.
This strategy can be applied to many situations, so long as you take the time to think about what your future self would want. By doing this, you can make better choices now that will lead to a happier, healthier future.
One interesting point against this strategy, is the idea that if you are always living for your future self, you will never enjoy the present moment. This is a valid counter and something that needs to be considered deeply. I think the right answer is to have a certain amount of balance, where you mix activities that you know you may regret (but may lead to a good story…) with activities that you don’t perhaps enjoy, or at least would not be your first choice right now, but that you know will help you in the future.
Good decisions do tend to compound, and so you can use this to your advantage. Even if you split your decisions 50/50, and only 50% were good long-term decisions, while the others are perhaps just neutral, the compounding of that 50% of good long-term decisions will still carry you forward.
Typical long-term life questions can be: Should I get a degree? Should I take this job or that job? Should I move here or there for better opportunities? Should I date this person or that person with an eye to marriage? Or, should I break up with my current boyfriend or girlfriend because we’re not compatible long-term?
We make countless decisions every day, some of which have more weight than others. But if we can keep in mind what our future selves want, it can help us make better decisions.
So, the next time you face a difficult decision, try thinking about what your future self would want.
It may just help you make the right choice.