Now Serving: Your Future Self
It’s about to get a little “woo” in here.
We have often heard that our most important relationship is the one that we have with ourselves. If we can’t practice compassion, connection, care and authenticity with ourselves it may be difficult to cultivate that in our relationships with others.
But it’s not just about the present self. You see, I also have a relationship with my future self.*
No, we don’t go out to lunch or meet up for coffee. That would be weird(er). It is that I consider her (me) when I am making choices in the present moment. Usually it takes the form of asking myself, “Is this action serving the future me?” or “Will the future me thank me for this choice?” It can be the future me of an hour from now…or a day…or a year or ten.
Some days the present me “wins.” I putz around on the internet instead of doing 20 minutes of yoga. I eat a Clif Bar instead of a real lunch. I procrastinate on submitting a payment or form. Those choices may be the best I can do at that time. And that’s OK.
Other days I will remind myself that the future me would love it if I took care of that nagging errand/email/phone call, went for a walk instead of checking Twitter, etc. If I overcome inertia and resistance and take care of business it feels like a gift to the future me. The present me feels pretty good too.
It is powerful to serve one’s own future needs. A big chunk of the energy I harnessed for launching the Department of Practical Sunshine was in service to the future me. Going through the growing pains of a new business now rather than kicking it down the road allows the future me to reap the benefits sooner.
Regular readers may be thinking, “Hold ON. In the last Slice of Sunshine newsletter, you cautioned against ‘futurecasting’.” Yes, wise reader! So let me clarify: futurecasting is when we expend energy fretting about what may happen (even though much of what we imagine may never come to pass).
Serving your future self means making mindful choices and taking action in the present that align with who you want to be. It isn’t always the easiest route, but it may help to remember: it’s not some random person impacted by your choices—its the future you!
*I did not invent this concept; this podcast by Brooke Castillo discusses having a relationship with your future self.
Write a Note to (or from) Your Future Self
A relationship with your future self can start with a simple note. Here’s one that my future self wrote to my present self as I was launching the Department of Practical Sunshine:
I am so proud of you for all of the work you are putting into DPS right now. I know that slogging through the website copy, creating marketing materials and doing sales outreach is not what brings you joy! But every bit of effort you put in right now will bring you closer to where you want to be. Be kind to yourself, and remember you will make mistakes but in the end you’re serving your greater purpose. Thank you for all that you’re doing—and you’re doing great! XO
(other) Smart People
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