How To Be Your Future Self Right Now
Benjamin Hardy, Ph.D.
In this Episode of The Human Upgrade™...
… you’ll find out how your imagined future directs your behavior right now, rather than your past. You’ll learn how to manage threats to your future self, recognize truths about your future self, and how to take steps to be your future self. You’ll also gain strategies you can start using today for creating and becoming exactly who you want to be in the present moment.
Benjamin Hardy, Ph.D., is an organizational psychologist and author of multiple books on how to improve your mindset. He joins the show to explain how you can borrow from your future and actually be that person right now.
In his newest book, “Be Your Future Self Now: The Science of Intentional Transformation,” he says, “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.”
There’s no looking back, only moving ahead. Most people, out of fear, limit their view of the future to a narrow range. Take a dangerous leap to think more broadly. Take cues from your brain.
“With neuroscience, the brain is essentially considered a prediction machine,” Ben says. “So, what the brain is always doing is predicting what’s going to happen, and learning is essentially just updating its sense of predictions. The brain is always anticipating the future.”
“People have the ability to not only think about our own future, but to have countless potential scenarios for our future.“
Benjamin Hardy, Ph.D.
“It’s all about a concept called prospection,” Ben continues. “As humans, we spend about two-thirds of our thinking time thinking about the future. We think about our prospects. We think about options. We think about what’s going on. We think about potentials. We think about decisions we’re going to make. We spend a lot more time thinking about the future than we do thinking about the past.”
Since you’re already thinking about the future, put those thoughts to use in the here and now with 21 actions (7 threats to, 7 truths about, and 7 steps for being your future self) designed to transform yourself. For example:
- Offset a THREAT: Urgent battles and small goals keep you stuck. To exit the rat race of day-to-day mindset requires a shift in your focus.
- Face a TRUTH: Failing as your future self is better than succeeding as your current self. The more willing you are to invest in momentary loss and pain directed at a goal, the faster you’ll adapt to the level of your future self.
- Take a STEP: Schedule your future self. Put the important before the urgent. Once you commit to your Future Self, you’ll be required to be courageous. Choosing freedom over security is an act of courage.
More about Benjamin Hardy, Ph.D.: Ben’s books include “Willpower Doesn’t Work” and “Personality Isn’t Permanent.” He also co-authored two books with strategic coach and entrepreneur Dan Sullivan: “Who Not How” and more recently, “The Gap and The Gain.” Ben’s blogs have been read by more than 100 million people and are featured in Harvard Business Review, the New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, and many other media outlets.
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Websites: benjaminhardy.com and futureself.com/
Book: “Be Your Future Self Now: The Science of Intentional Transformation”
- What the brain is always doing is predicting what’s going to happen, and learning is essentially just updating its sense of predictions. – 7:10
- What’s an unconscious goal? – 8:40
- Hershfield does not believe that mass human beings are evolved to do that effectively, which is why often we set up our future selves for disaster. – 15:22
- One year after our wedding, so in 2013, we made a nine year time capsule for our future selves. We filmed videos of ourselves talking about where we thought we’d be on our 10 year anniversary. – 20:15
- Think from the goal rather than to the goal. So you can use this to be more present. You can do this to be more contemplative, more thoughtful, make better decisions, maybe value your life more. – 26:29
- What do you recommend for people who are saying the future looks bleak right now? – 28:26
- I think that American culture right now, has shifted more toward an indefinite pessimism. – 33:36
- I know my future self can have totally different skill sets, totally different knowledge bases, totally different personality even than my current self. That lends to a growth mindset fundamentally. – 39:43
- So how did you feel as an author about bringing your view of God in the book? – 48:28