I realize this is a subjective question. Maybe we should change the word “like” to the word “respect.” Would the person you want to be respect the person you are?
That’s fairly jarring, isn’t it?
Recently, I asked this question of members of the The Positive Piper’s Facebook community and the typical response was “I don’t know. Maybe.” While it’s true we can’t fully know what our future self will think or feel, we can still imagine. I think the problem is that we don’t always want to.
But, sometimes, it’s worth it…
Why you should imagine your future self
To a degree, I believe we need to know where we want to go if we ever hope to get there. It’s true of car trips. It’s true of our lives. Knowing what kind of person we want to be will help us take the necessary steps now to become that person.
According to Cecil Selig:
“When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they take better care of it there.”
Believe it or not, this quote has quite a bit to do with our initial question. Let’s break it down so you can see what I mean.
Imagine you want your future self to be someone who’s healthy and in shape. Unless you’re blessed with genes of pure awesomeness, that means you’d probably have to eat right and exercise. If you’re currently someone who scarfs down a greasy fast food burger while laying on the couch watching TV, well…Do you really think your future self would respect that? (asks the chick who ate Chick-fil-a while watching TV a few hours ago…)
If you think about it, your future self is the green, lush grass on the other side of the fence. Maybe that version of you is smarter or friendlier or more successful than you currently are. Maybe that person is just happier. Whatever it is you envision for your future, there’s one commonality that binds them all together…
…Future You takes better care of the grass.
That’s right. In order for your future self to exist, he or she has to make the right choices to nurture the current version of yourself. It’s kind of like how future John Connor in The Terminator has to send his best friend back in time to sleep with his mom so he can be born…minus the weirdness of having your best friend sleep with your mom.
And the robots.
What you can do to earn your future respect today
I know this week has been fairly intense for some of you. Just thinking about having a dark side can be tough enough, but I’ve also asked you to figure out how you can use your gifts to make it something positive in your life. If you’re anything like me, you might still be pondering the nature of your dark passenger, much less what you’re going to do with it.
That’s why I’m not asking you to do anything today. Nope. Thursdays are all about thinking – and thinking ahead for the next week’s task. Right now, all I want you to do is imagine your future self and ask:
- Who is this person?
- What do they stand for?
- Why do I want to be like this person?
- Is this really the person I want to be or is this the person I think I should be?
That last point might be the most important. Don’t lose yourself in what other people think you ought to be or do. Be selfish because this is ALL about you. (I won’t tell.)
So, who do you want to be? Any thoughts on today’s quote?
“If you can change your mind, you can change your life.”
Photo Credit: Dunechaser via Flickr
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