The Psychology of Your Future Self

Today's post is an invitation to view the Ted talk below, by happiness expert Daniel Gilbert.  In it, Gilbert answers a very good question: Why do we make decisions that our future selves so often regret?

What I took away from the talk is that we're all capable of a great deal of change, at any point in our lives.  In Gilbert's words, "We mistakenly think that just because it's hard to imagine something, it's not likely to happen."

For most of us, visualizing a new possibility is more difficult than recalling a memory that already happened, so we limit ourselves and our potential by replaying old images instead of imagining up new ones.  In other words, we trust what has already happened to us in our lives (which is often not in our control in our childhood/adolescence) much more than we rely on our imagination to paint a picture of what life could be like.  As with most cognitive pitfalls, a little self-awareness is all you need to avoid the trap of unnecessarily limiting your fulfillment.  Hope you enjoy!

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