Speak to yourself tomorrow, to make today easier.
We are short-sighted creatures. It is one of humanity’s greatest achievements to think beyond the here and now, but doing so is a daily struggle.
When you are trying to build something, or build yourself, there is a constant battle with temptation. It is easier to do nothing. It is easier to take the comfortable route. The body and mind are comfort-seeking machines, and will push you to take the easy choice.
Short-term thinking can torpedo your plans. If you only focus on what’s comfortable right now, you won’t create a better future for yourself. If you’ve taken an English class before, you might recognize the poem that gave Of Mice And Men its name:
But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
Planning alone is not sufficient. But how do we lessen the burden of taking action now?
The person you are right now inherited everything from the person you were yesterday. And the person you’ll be tomorrow will inherit everything from who you are today.
This is the concept underlying the account. Across the spectrum of qualities, you have positive and negative balances. What you work on today is a profit you’ll inherit tomorrow. What you neglect today is a debt you’ll face tomorrow.
If you eat like shit today, you’ll be fatter and less healthy tomorrow. If you save $100 today, you’re $100 richer tomorrow.
This logic works all the way, through everything you do. Sleep is the time when you “bank” your progress or regress. But even sleep itself is subject to inheritance. Stay up until 2 A.M. today, and tomorrow you inherit a weaker, less rested body and mind.
Speak To Yourself Tomorrow
Here’s a trick I use to push myself into taking action. Speak to yourself tomorrow. Actually imagine yourself having a conversation with yourself, tomorrow morning.
Ask what they want from you. Ask ‘Future You’ whether you should work out today. Ask if you should really splurge on those shoes.
Ask if there’s anything they want to know that will make their lives easier, and go learn it. Today.
A long-term time disposition is the shared characteristic in all successful people and businesses. If you can delay gratification and immediate comfort, and focus on the future, you’ll be well set to grow consistently.
Studies show that belief in the stability of the world is correlated with the ability to delay gratification. If you can visualize a stable future, you will build towards it.
Start small, by visualizing yourself tomorrow. And have a chat while you’re at it. Future You tends to be a good guide.
I speak to myself tomorrow, and thousands online. Come join me on Twitter, where I also post daily.