Trusting your future self

Trusting your future self:

– You don’t need to solve all your problems right now by yourself.
– There’s another copy of you – tomorrow’s you – waiting in the future to help.
– Actually, in this week alone, there’s another six “future you”s all waiting to help out.
– They’re going to know everything you do, plus more.
– “Tomorrow’s you” has a whole extra day to sort stuff out in.

So, “today’s you” can relax a bit. Instead of taking the whole world on your shoulders today, trust your future self.

(Okay, I haven’t turned into a self-help guru overnight. But this mind-hack has been really useful to me. I’ve told a few other people about it and got positive feedback, so I decided to write it down. Normal planning-to-take-over-the-world stuff will resume shortly).

2 replies on “Trusting your future self”

There are also a lot of reasons not to trust your future self.

Consider: if you really trusted your future self, why not indulge in that cake? After all, you should be able to trust your future self to exercise (to “pay off” the cake in a sense).

Consider: it’s a pretty robust result that people get more conservative as they get older. So the odds very much suggest that you should expect to be less liberal then you are right now (however much that might be). So you have two choices: either A) your future self is irrational, and is making a mistake in becoming less liberal, in which case you should seek to either maximize your efforts before the Borg assimilate you or perhaps in some way “constrain” your future self (by committing to some very long-term donation scheme perhaps or donating a lot while you are still liberal); or B) your future self is being rational and based on his further information and reflections has changed his positions – in which case you might as well change your opinions right now to save time and effort.

(This last bit of reasoning might sound odd, but consider this: suppose you *knew right now* that tomorrow you would *know* that it would be raining tomorrow. Wouldn’t it be silly to say, ‘Well, I guess I don’t really know what the weather will be tomorrow, even though I know that I will know tomorrow, and I even know what I will know tomorrow: “it is raining”.’?)

So, anyway, you can probably multiply these examples. I find the last counterintuitive: either I can’t trust my future selves and so must in a sense treat them as enemies and seek to circumscribe their freedom, or I must undertake counterintuitive things like changing my political opinions on the basis of mere expectations of future change.

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