Future State Me!
Sometimes something resonates within you deep down, in your inner being, and you say “Yes! That’s it!” You know that you will not forget or let it go. This feeling describes what I was experiencing when I learned about the very simple, direct concept of Future State Me.
A few years back I watched a great TED Talk. I love TED Talks. Daniel Goldstein presents “The Battle Between Your Present and Future Self” and uses a visual representation of you now and you later to entice you to make good choices now that will make your future self smile!
The whole idea, very simple in theory and a little more difficult in practice, is that you should take into consideration your Future State Self when you make decisions in your Current State. So, for example, Current State Renee may be in the mood to binge Netflix and eat pecan bourbon caramels for the next eight hours but what will that mean for Future State Renee? Remorse? Sugar-rush headache? Achy joints from planting in the chair all day? Future State Renee may not be happy with that decision at all. She might be downright cranky.
Current State Renee deserves a little fun right now so Current State and Future State Renee need to be in be in balance. No more than two episodes of Orange is the New Black in any one day and three caramels. Renee really wants to see Orange is the New Black and the caramels are amazing.
When Do I Get There?
When is Future State Me? Well of course, that can be 15 minutes from now, a month from now, 20 years from now; whatever time you want to define. The Future State Renee that is achy from laying on the couch all day and eating caramels may be tomorrow but the accumulation of lazing and caramel snarfing affects a later version of Future State Renee very much.
Sometimes I use this concept just to get myself to do something today that I could very easily put off to tomorrow or even last minute later today. How will Future State Renee feel tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. if Current State Renee doesn’t get that stupid thing done tonight that is due at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow?
How, you might ask, does this apply to Renee’s financial independence? Future State Renee thinking is central to all of my financial independence goals. Think about it – every time I make a decision that involves time or money, I’m impacting Future State Renee; her financial state, what choices she has, what challenges she faces.
Current State Renee should take Future State Renee into account when thinking about the opportunity to invest cash, the implications around income and taxes, whether or not it’s a good idea to buy something cheap or spend the extra bucks and, hopefully, enjoy a higher quality product. Should I buy the concert tickets?
Who am I kidding? I always buy the concert tickets.
Balance is Key
The balancing act – Current State Renee needs to have a smile on her face as well as making sure financially independent Future State Renee is grinning, too. Current State Renee can’t know everything that Future State Renee will be dealing with but there is a huge probability that she will be much happier WITH resources than without.
If Current State Renee can’t smile, it will be VERY difficult for her to continue to care about Future State Renee’s happiness. Let’s not forget that nobody is guaranteed a Future State anything. This is one of the biggest reasons to make sure that Current State Renee is not toiling along in the salt mines just for the benefit of Future State Renee.
There are buses that come around the corner and cement trucks that run red lights and dread diseases lurking all over the place. Just because you do a great job of planning for financial independence does not ensure that you will actually get to enjoy that time.
The posts that I’m publishing on this site have a lot to do with financial education and independence. This provides opportunities to make great choices as Current State Me so that Future State Me is a happy camper. And, most importantly, Don. He deserves to have a great Future State. Once in awhile I may veer off to something fun but my main mission is to learn and share thoughts and resources about Financial Independence.
PS – No judgement on that binge-watching thingy. Hey, some days you really need to binge on The Crown for eight hours. I get it.
Let’s Do This!
What about Future State You?
Draw a word picture or a drawing of what Future State You looks like. What are you doing? Make sure there is a SMILE on your face.
Keep the Conversation Going
What does Current State You do to make Future State You happy?
Resources and Links
TED Talk – Daniel Goldstein, The Battle Between Your Present and Future Self
Lion photo courtesy of Stockvault.net