I heard a TedX talk recently that talked about our future self. Not about who we are now, but about who we are to become eventually. It totally got my wheels spinning.
It really got to me, thinking about how much we undervalue that future self. And I’m very guilty of this - not planning long term, not investing in future, not worrying about t20 years from now, just maybe the next three years at a time.
This speaker also brought up the point that we change our values based on our current point in time. So at the moment I really value time spent with my children and parents, but 20 years ago I would have valued time spent with my friends and peers. Currently I would value having a wide selection of music courtesy of the Internet, but 20 years ago I would highly value my Alanis Morissette album.
So what will be my values at the next big “point in time”? I’ve been looking at my past timeline, like a chart, and noticing these major milestones -- just a series of dates. The date that marked my relationship with my partner -- the day we met, the date that my child was born, the date I quit smoking, all sorts of dates that suddenly change my values without any forewarning.
I find myself second guessing my decisions now based on my future values. It really became noticeable when I started packing my belongings for a move. I keep repeating to myself “Will this have great value to me in 10 years, 20 years or any value at all?” It helps. I’m purging, cleansing, doing away with all that sentimental baggage that takes up room in my closets.
I was not brought up this way. This is a terrifying and exhilarating “date” to me. I will soon say to myself “How did I cope before that point?” “How did I manage to hold onto so much stuff, just for the sake of a perceived sentimental value, at some unforeseen point in time?” I’m weighing out the future value of the item versus the current value of the item, and then purging. Terrifying. This isn’t a familiar concept at all, so members of my family are starting to become “concerned”.
I’m more concerned with creating a closet full of stuff that have this forced sentimental value put upon them, just because my values right now mean that these items are more important than they will be in 10 years.
Long story short, if you’re leaning towards hoarding tendencies and have the self-awareness to be able to absorb a new concept from a TedX talk, seek it out -– the psychology of your future self.