Be Your Future Self Now: The Science of Intentional Transformationby Benjamin P. Hardy
Imagining your future self with vividness and clarity has a radical pulling power to draw you to your dreams. Connecting with your future self is a mighty tool to create your ideal life. In Be Your Future Self Now, you will learn not only why this method is so effective, but also gain step by step instructions for how to harness the power of connecting with the future you.
The Future Self
“Research now shows that a person’s past does not drive or dictate their actions and behaviors. Rather, we are pulled forward by our future.”
Human beings operate in a purposeful manner. Our actions are goal-driven. We’re typically motivated by short-term goals, like walking to the refrigerator to get some food. We find it natural to act in ways to achieve certain goals that will happen that day, within the week, or perhaps even the month.
Acting towards goals further into the future, however, is something we tend to struggle with. However, contemplating the future, and who we desire to be five, ten, or even twenty years down the road has has the incredible power of actually shaping our future.
Connecting with your future self is an investment that compounds dramatically. The more you are connected with your future self, the better quality decisions you will make in the present. You will find yourself gaining momentum towards a desired future state. Your very identity will transform.
To harness this power, you need to gain clarity through your imagination of your desired future state, and fully commit to this future. From this vision, work backwards to develop checkpoints and milestones to bring about this future you.
Actions to take
Threats to the Future You
“The most fundamental threat to a person’s Future Self is not the loss of freedom but the absence of purpose and meaning.”
The choices you make each day will either empower your future self or threaten it. Recognizing these threats will help you protect the wellbeing of the future you. Lacking hope or a clear goal will cause your present day behaviors to be aimless. Purpose, on the other hand, brings strong energy, vigor, and life force into your everyday life. Having a purpose enables you to engage the challenges you face on a daily basis. Strong hope in a desired future will allow you to find and create the way to this future you with unwavering dedication.
Don’t allow your future to be controlled by the stories you tell yourself about your past. It’s easy to frame the past in negative ways. Thinking upon our failures may cause low confidence and keep us from pursuing a brighter future. In this way of thinking, life happens to you, not for you. Reframe the way you think about the past, not as a victim, but as experiences to learn from that drive you towards a better future. Find things to be grateful for from them. Own your experiences. Don’t allow them to own you.
The environment you are in now will affect where you end up in the future. Is your current environment, especially your relationships, inspiring and challenging you to create a better future? Or is it lulling you to maintain the status quo?
When we are disconnected from our future selves, we tend to default to the urgent demands of everyday life. These can be meetings, emails, chores, and the like. We opt for the urgent, instead of the important, and then down the road, we find ourselves still stuck in the same place. Connecting with your future self demands that we start putting first things first. We need to get into the arena and start taking action, rather than remaining stuck in analysis paralysis.
Ironically, success can actually cause us to sabotage our future selves. When we start achieving a certain degree of success, it’s easy to become complacent and stop doing the things that caused us to be successful in the first place. We stop being disciplined. We fail to continually evolve our vision. Then, we sabotage ourselves and wind up back in our old ways. This is a call to continually maintain clarity of the future self we are seeking to create.
Actions to take
Truths About the Future You
“Everything you do has a compounding consequence. Your Future Self is the exaggerated result of your current decisions.”
Connecting with your future self has the power to drive your behavior in the present. If we want to take a creative role in developing an ideal future state, we need to establish a compelling vision for that future. Mental creation precedes physical creation. We can view life as unfolding randomly, or we can view it as a creative process that we are a part of. We can begin to design our behaviors to create a certain end.
Remember that your actions in the present have a compounding effect on your future. Everything you do will have an effect, for better or for worse. Design your behaviors so that the future you will reap the benefits, rather than pay for the cost of poor choices, with interest.
As good choices compound, your identity begins to change. You get wins. You gain confidence. You begin to see that the ideal future you imagined could in fact come to fruition. Don’t underestimate the power of small, consistent actions toward your desired future.
The more clarity you have for your desired future, the faster you will progress. Clarity will allow you to identify certain milestones on the way to your goal. With a milestone identified, you can begin measuring your progress toward the completion of that milestone. This will focus your actions and give you momentum toward your goals.
Failure is an essential part of the path forward. Connect with your future self, and begin to embody your future self today through concrete actions and deliberate practice. Since this will be a significant stretch for the current you, you will inevitably encounter failure after failure. Failure, however, will accelerate the learning curve and send you flying toward your goals faster than you could have imagined.
Stay true to the vision of the future. What you truly desire in your heart is true success. Don’t settle for something easier, but less than what you truly wanted. You have everything you need to create your desired life and all of the answers you need lie within you. Trust that the universe has your back, and keep on keeping on towards your best life!
Actions to take
Seven Steps to the Future Self
“The only way to realize your Future Self is to be your Future Self now.”
The following are seven steps that will allow you to embrace your future self now and use the power of this vision to achieve your goals:
Clarify your contextual purpose. Your overarching purpose is the ideal future you are intending to create. Your contextual purpose is the most important thing you can focus on right now to bring about the overarching purpose. Your contextual purpose is characterized by your three major priorities for the next twelve months. Having more than three priorities will spread you too thin, and you will not make significant progress toward your goals.
Eliminate lesser goals. Your future self is like a mountain in the distance you are walking towards. Distractions are the things that take you off that straight path, waste your time, and kill your progress. Observe your behavior for the distractions you are drawn to and the ways in which you procrastinate. These are the weeds in the garden you are trying to cultivate. Commit to your greater purpose with 100% unwavering intention.
Elevate from needing to wanting to knowing. Knowing is a state in which you know that you already have what you desire. You are in a state of gratitude. You embody the identity of the future you, and the fulfillment of the vision arises naturally. Be your future self now, then do what that future self would do, and you will have the desired results.
Ask for exactly what you want. Asking opens doors that otherwise remain closed. Start asking others for what you need to get you to your desired future self. Don’t be afraid. People are often more willing to help more than we realize. You will get in life what you ask for.
Automate and systemize your future self. As you gain clarity on the future self you are creating and understand the path in deep simplicity for how to get there, you can design a system to help you get there. This means creating routines or processes that are automatic. For instance, having money automatically deducted from your paycheck to go towards investments takes a lot of time, energy, and willpower out of the equation. Results are produced automatically. It will likely involve delegating certain activities to others or through certain software or programs. Refining your system will reduce decision fatigue, improve your time management, and free you up for deep work on the most important items.
Schedule your future self. You will need to gain control of your time, rather than allowing time to control you. How you spend your time shows where your commitments truly lie. Identify blocks of time within your week that you can consistently devote to your priorities. Learn to say no to distractions and lesser goals. Stick to your schedule. Procrastination is easy to rationalize; you tell yourself you aren’t giving up on your goals, you are just pushing them off ‘til tomorrow.
Aggressively complete imperfect work. Perfectionism will keep us from releasing our work into the world. If we, however, are willing to consistently release imperfect work, we will develop confidence and the necessary momentum to create huge success. Consistency is far more powerful than perfection. Commit to releasing imperfect work aggressively. Parkinson’s Law states that your work will fill up whatever time frame you give it. Move your completion date up, and you will get stuff done much faster. Remember the 80 Percent Rule also. 80% will get you results, but 100% is perfectionism that breeds procrastination.