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My Present Self vs My Future Self

I watched a TED talk about a month ago from Daniel Goldstein titled: The battle between your present and future self. In it he uses this quote:

“To abstain from enjoyment which is in our power, or to seek distant rather than immediate results, are among the most painful exertions of the human will” 
 N.W. Senior

I have read that quote 4 times and can't stop thinking about just how true it is.

To not eat that cupcake so that you can fit into your skinny jeans in a month is DIFFICULT.  To not buy those cute heels so that you can put a little extra on your mortgage this month is DIFFICULT.  As Goldstein plainly states in his talk, "it is hard to resist temptation."

Goldstein talks about the power struggle been your present self and your future self. Your present self is in control and it wants to have that cupcake and cute heels NOW. Your future self barely has a voice. It has a hard time being heard.

I have been doing a little self talk the last few weeks in select circumstances by asking myself, "what would my future self want." I immediately know the answer and NOT ONCE has it been what my present self wanted. I can't tell you the satisfaction I get from listening to my future self. Not only am I proud of myself for having will power, but the next day when I think back to the cupcake I almost ate and the heels I almost bought, I am even more proud of the choice I made.

So with the small amount of success I am having with it I am making it my Happiness Project for the next week. I will keep track of all the times I have a internal dialogue and will let you know next Thursday who won more battles.

Let's hope my future self kicks some butt!


  1. Be sure in your "internal dialogue" you speak softly to yourself....I am going to try and keep score also...may not share

  2. Be sure in your "internal dialogue" you speak softly to yourself....I am going to try and keep score also...may not share

  3. I LOVE this! It is so relevant to me, but I have never thought about it in this way. MY future self must have been having a few glasses of wine because she has been very loud this week. As a result, I feel like I am more happy with my present self! I am going to pay attention to this now, and watch for those little feuds between present and future me.

  4. Rapid City - Good idea to speak softly to myself! I will keep that in mind :-)

    Kelly - I thought it was brilliant as well. In one day I have already done 20 sit-ups and 10 push-ups, re-focused in on my work, and didn't over eat for supper. My future self is loving me today!

    Rapid City - I don't see why you couldn't share!

  5. My present self won tonight when I had take out and cookies:( May my future self win the battle next time!


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