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Published on June 26, 2019

How to Talk to Your Future Self to Change Your Life

How to Talk to Your Future Self to Change Your Life

When I was seventeen, I wrote a heartfelt letter to myself to open on my eighteenth birthday. I recapped the events that unfolded during the year; the relationships I have strengthened, the friendships that have fallen out, the things I have come to accept and then the struggle of letting things go. I wrote down the fears and excitement of starting university, and how I thought things would unfold in the year to come.

I’ve carried this tradition every year since then. Some years the letters were five pages long; other times, they were three paragraphs. What doesn’t change is the hope that ends in every letter.

“I hope you have found what you were looking for.”

“I hope you crossed off things in your bucket list.”

“I hope this year was much better for you.”

The letters were always kind and loving, and it made me realize all the ways I didn’t talk to myself the other days of the year. Most times, I was cruel, unkind, and hard on myself.

We have daily conversations with ourselves, and it’s about becoming aware of those conversations and how to talk to your future self to change your life.

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1. Use Writing as a Tool

Writing is an underrated tool. There’s a shift in power when you write things down, and also a way to purging your stream of consciousness.

We accumulate so many thoughts from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. Sometimes these thoughts turn into pent up frustrations or emotions that carry on to the next morning.

Here are some ways to use writing as a tool as a way to carry healthy conversations with your future self:

Write Letters to Your Future Self

Writing a letter to your future self is a way to paint and imagine the life you want. You fill these letters with hopes, dreams, and goals that you want to achieve. In order to do this, you must first let go of any restrictions you are facing in the present and truly believe the sky is the limit. This is a chance to look at your future self and determine who that person is.

The letter can be written to be opened in five years, a year, or even in a “case of emergency” – during those moments when you need a little reminder.

Remember to be honest and don’t hold back.

Write a Letter from Your Past-Self

I once asked myself, “What Would My Thirteen-Year-Old Self Say to Me Now?[1]” It was a chance to switch perceptions go back to the moment I was most hopeful for my future. It was the moment when every dream was reachable and nothing in life was going to stop me from living my best life.

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Sometimes, we need to go back to that inner child and look at the world from rose colored lenses. The older we become, the easier we let our own reality dictate your dreams and even take the steering wheel.

Write a letter to yourself from that inner child that still exists within you – that child who don’t want you to give up.

Write a List of Books and Authors You like Now

Keep a list of all your favorite passages from books and words of wisdom from your go-to authors. There’s a reason why we are drawn to certain texts, books, and worlds found between the pages. Let this list unleash your creativity and stir different emotions from within.

Need some inspiration? Here is a list of 10 Best Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life.

2. Find These 3 Types of People

A wise man had once told me to always have these 3 types of people in my life – a mentor, a colleague, and a mentee.

Find a Mentor

Having a great mentor can impact your life and your future self in unimaginable ways. But before you start your journey to finding a mentor, you must first get clear on what your goals are and what a good mentor looks like. It doesn’t only come down to the chemistry of the relationship, but also sharing personal values and finding someone willing to teach and offer you advice.

Find someone who is living the lifestyle you want and have accomplished the goals you want to achieve.

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Find a Colleague

In addition to a mentor, you must have someone who is walking alongside with you on your journey; this person can be someone you can relate to, someone who is facing the same difficulties, or someone who shares a similar vision. Where would Harry Potter be without his friends Hermione and Ron? Would high school have been bareable if Cory Matthews didn’t have Shawn or Topanga?

Life isn’t meant to go about alone but in the company of others. Find a partner or a group who will push you and help you navigate the triumphs and trials of your journey.

Find a Mentee

Learning is a two-way street, and there is always an opportunity to learn from others – even from those who may be much younger or less experienced. Having a mentee is just as important as having a mentor and a colleague.

What is the point of carrying all the information in the world if there is no one to pass the knowledge to? By becoming a mentor yourself, you have the opportunity to see certain situations or circumstances from a different perspective. You learn to be compassionate by listening and supporting, all which can help you change the way you speak to your future self.

3. Role Play

Switch to a different role you play and you may perceive things differently.

Ask Yourself: What Would Your Future Self Do?

Our actions today matter and affect how we will be tomorrow and the day after. Ask yourself what your future self would do on a typical Tuesday? Here are some promoting questions:

  • What did you have for breakfast this morning?
  • Where are you working, and how do you feel about it?
  • What book did you finish reading?
  • What shampoo and conditioner are you using?

The little things like visualizing a shampoo brand or a book can help you paint a clearer picture while adding in a bit of character. By doing this, this visualization for yourself starts to feel more real.

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Role Play as Your Archetype

If you haven’t yet taken the 16 Personalities test, now may be a great time to. The test is composed of several questions that determine your Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Once the test is completed it will show you which of the 16 archetypes you may be based on your answers – Extrovert/Introvert, Sensors/Intuitives, Thinkers/Feelers, Judgers/Perceivers.

For example, I am an ENFP, also known as the Campaigner. I also share the same archetype as Robert Downey Jr. and Will Smith – two actors I admire for their quick wit and vibrant energy. One way to talk to your future self is looking deeper into your archetype and see if these qualities resonate with you. Then ask yourself, how you are currently portraying this archetype and what qualities do you admire in those who also share your archetype.

The Bottom Line

The way you speak to yourself now is so vital to who you become in the future. As our own being, we play different roles – we have to be our own cheerleader when we hit certain walls, we have to play our own parent to take care of our physical and emotional well-being, and we even play the role as our own lover as we learn to love ourselves completely.

As we switch from role to role, it may get taxing and our conversations may turn negative. Sometimes those negative and harsh conversations never leave.

By finding a mentor to have as guidance, visualizing the ideal version of the future you, and even writing letters from different perspectives are all ways you can learn to change the current conversations you carry with yourself.

More About Living Your Best Life

Featured photo credit: Eliot J. via unsplash.com

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Akina Chargualaf

Akina Chargualaf is an entrepreneur, writer, and the content creator of travel and personal development blog Finding Fifth.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

If Money Can’t Buy Happiness, What Can?

If Money Can’t Buy Happiness, What Can?

Think of the last time your bought something you really wanted. How did you feel afterwards? It felt good.

    Now, is there something else you really want? Maybe a new laptop, smartphone, or some nice clothes. Buying that thing, whatever it is, will bring you happiness. When you finally have it, you will be excited to try it out.

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          As cliche as it says “money can’t buy happiness,” we feel happy when we buy the things we want. Why is that?

          The Real Reason Why You Are Happy When You Buy Stuff

          Human beings are hardwired to seek instant gratification. You’ve probably heard the phrase instant gratification hundreds of times. To get that thing we want, the moment we want it. This desire for instant gratification came to us as a survival mechanism. I’m not going to talk about instant gratification in details here, if you want to find out more about it, take a look at 5 Ways to Get Over Approval Addiction and Instant Gratification.

          While instant gratification is in human’s nature, we live in a society driven by delayed gratification. Delayed gratification is the desire for something but the inability to get it when you want. In our society, you have to wait for your pay day, your meal at a restaurant, your coffee at Starbucks. When the thing you want finally arrives, you get excited.

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            Your excitement for this thing, the delayed gratification often elicits stronger emotional responses in you than when you get it. This feeling comes from dopamine a chemical that influences the pleasure centers in our brains.[1] When you become excited for something, you are actually enjoying a release of dopamine into our system. The thing you are actually excited for is almost secondary to it.

            Think about it, how did you feel a couple hours after buying something you waited a long time for? It was probably not nearly as good as when you first got it, or when you’re waiting to get it. It’s natural, it’s a part of human nature.

              In this way the happiness you feel isn’t true happiness. In fact, biologically speaking, you’re just enjoying a blast of dopamine. When this blast of dopamine is gone, you want something new again, which is secretly, more dopamine. This is what that old saying “money can’t buy you happiness” really means.

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              There is, however, a way in which money can buy you happiness. It’s just not in a way you think.

              An Alternative to Buying Happiness

              Recently Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA conducted a study where two groups of people were given $40 each.[2] One group was told to spend it in buying a possession, an object, something they wanted. The other group was told to spend it in ways that would enable them to have more free time, for example, having food delivered to save them from cooking, or hiring a cleaner, instead of cleaning their house themselves. When each participant in the study were to measure their happiness to a 10 point scale, those who spent their money on more free time were almost always one whole point ahead of those who spent their money on stuff.

              In a sense, they were happier because they brought themselves out of doing something they didn’t want to do. Just buying more stuff, in the long run didn’t have much of an affect on their happiness, when those who spent money on time found an increase in life satisfaction.

              It was the free time that made people happy.

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                It was the quality time that contributed more to their happiness, the money was just a tool they used to get more time. But the money ultimately is unnecessary. All that is required is a re-adjustment of how you measure time.

                Everyone has 24 hours a day. The life expectancy for females is 81.2 years; for males, it’s 76.4 years. Most people have more or less the same time of living. To make every hour, or minute count is the way to create your own happy time. If you are always feeling busy and don’t think you have enough quality time for yourself, you need to make a change to turn things around.

                To be truly happy, make quality time a true value in your life. Find out how to do so in my other article How to Gain More Time Like Making Money.

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                Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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