Self Help

Be Your Future Self Now - Dr. Benjamin Hardy

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Matheus Puppe

· 28 min read

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  • In October 2015, 17-year-old Jimmy Donaldson made 4 YouTube videos where he spoke candidly to his future self six months, 12 months, five years, and ten years in the future. He scheduled the videos to be published on those future dates.

  • In the first video to his 6-month future self, Jimmy set goals for his YouTube subscribers and views. When the video went live six months later, he had vastly exceeded those goals.

  • After making the future self videos, Jimmy fully embraced his alter ego, MrBeast, and made bolder, more innovative YouTube videos. His channel grew exponentially.

  • MrBeast started doing more stunts and challenges and donation videos where he would give money to homeless people, Twitch streamers, and others. His videos went viral and his subscribers/views skyrocketed.

  • The future self videos marked a pivotal point where Jimmy committed to his dreams and became successful YouTuber MrBeast. Speaking to his future self gave him courage and motivation to progress toward his goals.

Here is a summary of the reactions to receiving unexpected large sums of money:

  • Jimmy published a video in 2017 where he tipped pizza delivery drivers $10,000. The responses ranged from being overwhelmed with emotion and crying, to hugging Jimmy and expressing how much the money would help them and their families.

  • In another video that year, Jimmy tipped Uber drivers $10,000 each. Their reactions appeared similarly stunned and grateful.

  • Beyond just tipping people, Jimmy also started performing bigger stunts and games where people could win large sums of money, up to millions of dollars. These included lifting himself with balloons, driving to every Walmart in his state to buy a Snickers, and giving away millions of pennies.

  • The common thread in the reactions seems to be shock, disbelief, immense gratitude, and being moved to tears by the life-changing amounts of money. These windfalls elicited emotional solid responses for people struggling financiallyhey realized how significantly it could improve their lives. Jimmy’s videos show unexpected money’s dramatic impact on people, evoking reactions from laughter to tears.

  • Humans are primarily driven by fear and short-term thinking rather than courage and long-term vision. This leads to poor decision-making.

  • There is growing research on the importance of connecting with your “Future Self” - the person you want to become. The more connected you are to your Future Self, the better decisions you make in the present.

  • When disconnected from your Future Self, you get caught up in instant gratification and behaviors that hurt your future. You leave problems for your “Future Self” to deal with.

  • Connecting with your Future Self gives you purpose and meaning. It helps you make wiser choices that prepare you for future success and happiness. You start living from your Future Self rather than just toward it.

  • The paradox is that connecting with your Future Self improves your present self and life. You appreciate the current more when you know where it’s leading.

  • The author provides an example of connecting with his Future Self as an older father to be more present with his young kids. He imagined himself looking back with nostalgia on this precious Time.

  • The author decided to try an exercise inspired by Viktor Frankl - to live the rest of the day as if he was his Future Self 20 years in the future, given the chance to travel back and relive today.

  • When the author came home, he sincerely appreciated his daughter Phoebe and family way, seeing their value through the eyes of his wiser Future Self.

  • The author realized our Future Self could help us better appreciate the present moments we often take for granted or get annoyed by.

  • Imagining life from your Future Self’s perspective can provide motivation, wisdom, and gratitude to live your life differently starting today.

  • The book teaches how to commit fully to your desired Future Self now, shaping your identity and actions around who you want to become. This requires courage, collaboration, evolving beliefs, and mental models but brings powerful results.

  • Everything you experience on the path to your Future Self only strengthens your resolve if you stay committed. Decide who you want to be, and be your Future Self now.

Here is a summary of the most powerful truths about your Future Self from Part 3 of the book:

  • Your future gives meaning and purpose to your present. Without hope and vision for your future, your present loses meaning.

  • Don’t let your past define you. Focus instead on creating the future you want. The past can’t be changed, but the end is unwritten.

  • Be aware of your environment and how it shapes you, but don’t let it determine your path. You have the power to evolve intentionally.

  • Connect deeply with your Future Self - your hopes, dreams and highest potentials. Make decisions to fulfill that vision.

  • Avoid getting stuck battling urgencies and pursuing small goals. Define an inspiring vision and take bold action towards it.

  • You must get in the arena and live fully. Not doing so is failing by default. Take courageous action.

  • Success often leads to complacency and failure. Stay hungry and humble. Continually grow into your Future Self.

The book provides practical steps to define, believe in, and become your Future Self. This gives you hope, meaning and the power to shape your life.

  • Frankl believed that having hope and purpose toward the future is essential for a meaningful life. Without hope, people lose motivation and fall into despair.

  • High-hope people stay committed to their goals while remaining flexible in their methods. Low-hope people get stuck in avoidance and passivity.

  • The first threat to your Future Self is not having hope or a sense of purpose. Without hope for the future, the present loses meaning.

  • Trauma is not what happens to you, but what you hold inside without an empathetic witness. The police officer provided that for Ben after the car accident, helping him take ownership and not blame himself.

  • After trauma, people can get stuck in a reactive narrative about their past, stunting their future growth. Ben chose to take responsibility for moving forward despite the trauma.

  • By focusing on building his Future Self through learning and contribution, Ben overcame the threat of being defined by past trauma. Our past does not have to define our future.

  • Threat #3 needs to know how your environment influences your goals and personal evolution.

  • The people you spend Time with shaping your performance and results (the Pygmalion effect). If you surround yourself with people who have low expectations, you will fall to those standards. If you surround yourself with people who have high expectations, you will rise to meet those standards.

  • Your desires are often the result of repeated exposure, not internal reasons (the mere-exposure effect). Your environment shapes your goals, often unconsciously.

  • To proactively evolve, you must become aware of and manage your environment. Consciously surround yourself with people and media that pull you toward your Future Self, not your Current Self.

  • Be wary of normalcy bias - the tendency to underestimate the possibility and impact of disaster. Normalcy bias causes people to downplay risk and fail to prepare.

  • To avoid normalcy bias, vividly imagine potential disasters and preemptively prepare. Mentally simulate crises so you are ready to act if they occur.

The key is to become aware of how your environment unconsciously shapes you, and then consciously craft an environment that evolves you toward your Future Self. Manage your surroundings, the people you associate with, and the media you consume.

Here’s a summary of the key points:

  • We are not evolutionarily adapted to make long-term plans, so it’s easy to focus on short-term rewards and ignore the needs of our future selves.

  • To make wise long-term decisions, we need to feel connected to and empathize with our future selves - seeing them as distinct individuals with their perspectives.

  • People who feel more connected to their future selves make better financial decisions and save more.

  • Visualizing your future self makes the connection stronger. Techniques like age progression software help you see your future self.

  • Regular reminders and cues can make your future self feel more natural and salient.

  • Making concrete plans for the future rather than vague aspirations also strengthens connection to your future self.

  • Disconnection from your future self leads to short-sighted, myopic decisions that may satisfy you today but undermine your future happiness and success.

  • Boosting connection to your future self enables wise long-term decision making that supports your goals and values in life.

In summary, connecting to your future self is vital in making choices that benefit your long-term well-being rather than just short-term gratification. Visualization, planning, and constant reminders strengthen this essential connection.

Here are a few key points summarizing the threat of urgent battles and small goals keeping you stuck:

  • Most people are focused on short-term goals like getting through the day, paying bills, and other immediate concerns. This makes it hard to think long-term.

  • Living day-to-day creates a desperate, survival mode mentality like in the movie In Time. It would help if you had more time to strategize and create a better future.

  • Short-term thinking leads to rushing and stress. In contrast, long-term thinking allows you to move slower and make better decisions.

  • If your goals are short-term, you’ll stay stuck in the same place. It would help if you had more significant, long-term plans to make real progress in life.

  • The system seems designed to keep people focused on urgent battles and small goals rather than envisioning and strategizing for the future.

  • To get unstuck, you need to shift your focus to bigger goals months and years away, not just what’s right in front of you. This requires discipline but enables real growth.

  • Making Time to think long-term, even if you’re busy, is essential to creating the future you want rather than just reacting to the present.

The key is widening your vision beyond the day-to-day and taking control of your future by setting and achieving bigger goals. Short-term thinking keeps you stuck.

Here are a few key points from your summary:

  • Those who criticize and doubt others are often not in the arena themselves. Their opinions don’t impact what happens in the field of play. Seek advice from those with real experience.

  • The biggest threat is not entering the arena or delaying too long. On the sidelines you are failing by default. You must get in the game to learn and grow.

  • Staying outside the arena feels safe but is the most dangerous place. You remain ignorant of your weaknesses and don’t become a pro. This leads to regrets.

  • To avoid this threat, take action and enter the arena immediately. You’ll learn from experience and mistakes. Critics on sidelines don’t determine what happens in the hall.

The key is to avoid paralysis by analysis, silence your doubters, and take action to enter the arena. This is where real growth and achievement happen, not on the sidelines. Learning requires doing, so get in the game.

  • The psychological definition of courage is proactively pursuing a noble, worthwhile goal involving risk. Courage is the doorway to positive change.

  • It takes courage to get into the arena and take action. Once in the hall, you will fail and get feedback/criticism. This is how you learn and adapt.

  • When you are on the sidelines, you are failing by default. You have to enter the arena to understand the landscape and make progress. Failures in the hall are your best friend for learning.

  • Being in the arena means facing reality and letting it be your instructor. You learn by doing, through real solutions and consequences. Spectators theorize without risk.

  • The longer you wait to enter your arena, the more you limit your future self—small steps in the arena lead to big rewards and growth.

  • Success can be the catalyst for failure. With success comes complexity that can shift focus from the singular goal. Opportunities distract from the vision.

  • Maintaining success is more challenging than achieving it. Complacency and laziness set in. People stop the disciplines that brought them success.

  • To sustain success, continually update your vision and filter out distractions. Stay focused on your future self, not short-term dopamine loops.

  • Ferdinand Marcos was president of the Philippines from 1965-1986. He claimed to be a war hero to gain popularity but was highly corrupt, stealing billions from the government.

  • Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. was a young, rising political leader criticizing Marcos’ corruption and extravagance. He became Marcos’ top opponent in the 1971 election.

  • Marcos declared martial law in 1972 to stay in power. He had Ninoy arrested and sentenced to death. Ninoy spent eight years in prison.

  • In 1980, Ninoy had heart surgery in the U.S. and stayed in exile with his wife Cory and kids. 1983, he returned to the Philippines to speak out against Marcos despite the risk.

  • Upon arrival in Manila, Ninoy was assassinated as he exited the plane. His death sparked outrage, and the People Power Revolution, led by Cory, ousted Marcos in 1986.

  • Ninoy sacrificed his life for the democratic future he envisioned for the Philippines. His why was so strong he was willing to die for it. His death ultimately led to that vision becoming a reality.

  • Ninoy Aquino was a leader of the opposition to the Marcos regime in the Philippines. He was assassinated in 1983 upon returning from exile, which galvanized further opposition.

  • His widow, Corazon “Cory” Aquino, emerged as a leader against Marcos, running against him in a snap election in 1986. The election was rigged, but mass protests led to Marcos fleeing and Cory becoming president.

  • Cory Aquino oversaw the transition back to democracy in the Philippines, drafting a new constitution and restoring civil liberties. She served as president from 1986-1992 before returning to civilian life.

  • The passage argues that we all have a “Future Self” that we can create through our actions and commitments. It highlights 7 “truths” about this Future Self:

  1. Your future drives your present - your goals shape your current behavior.

  2. You must imagine your Future Self - envision who you want to become.

  3. Your Future Self requires action now - you must act today to become your Future Self.

  4. Your Future Self evolves as you grow and learn.

  5. Your Future Self serves your purpose - it fulfills your unique potential.

  6. Your Future Self depends on your relationships - connections shape you.

  7. Your Future Self can inspire others - it becomes an example.

  • All human behavior is goal-driven, even if the goals are small or subconscious. More intentional goals lead to more intelligent and unrestrained behavior.

  • People tend to assume their future self will be mostly the same as their current self. But research shows people change much more over a decade than they expect.

  • This “end of history illusion” comes from the difficulty of imagining how much we’ll change in the future. People underestimate how different their future selves will be.

  • A “fixed mindset” assumes core traits are unchangeable, so people overly define themselves by their current self. But our future selves will be different from who we are now.

  • We must have an open and growth mindset about our future potential. We can consciously become the person we aspire to become with vision and effort.

The critical point is that our future selves will differ more than we expect due to the difficulty of imagining change. Still, with an open mindset and vision, we can consciously work to become our aspired future selves. Our behavior is goal-driven, so setting intentional goals allows us to steer our self-evolution.

Here is a summary of the key points from Threat #3:

  • Your Future Self is the “Pied Piper” - you can’t escape paying the consequences of your current actions.

  • Everything you do now has a compounding impact on your Future Self, for better or worse.

  • Costing your Future Self means indulging in short-term rewards with negative long-term consequences. This puts your Future Self in debt.

  • Investing in your Future Self means making small, consistent actions toward your goals. This makes your Future Self wealthier.

  • Investments compound over time and can lead to unpredictable positive ripple effects. The earlier you start investing, the more your Future Self benefits.

  • See every action as either costing or investing in your Future Self. Costs make your Future Self unhealthier and more limited. Investments make your Future Self more accessible and more capable.

  • Your Future Self has more potential than you realize. Valuing your Future Self increases the worth of your current self and small actions today.

  • Having a clear, detailed vision of your future self with measurable goals helps you progress faster. Kaleb’s tennis skills improved rapidly once he had a specific ranking goal and milestones.

  • Without a vivid future self and measurable metrics, people wander in circles and make little progress. Studies show that when people try to walk in a straight line without landmarks, they loop in circles even if they feel confident they are on track.

  • The more vivid and concrete your future self is, the more motivated you become. Olympians envision their future medal-winning self in detail. This links their identity to that future self.

  • Break your big goals into measurable milestones and metrics to track progress. Kaleb aimed first for a specific tennis ranking to get into an academy, with longer-term goals for college.

  • Envisioning your future self ignites your subconscious to bridge the gap between your current and future identities. Your behavior follows your identity, so a vivid future self pulls you forward.

  • Investing Time and money into your future self also helps make it more concrete. Small investments build your commitment and make the future self seem more attainable.

The key is to have a clear, measurable, and motivating vision of your future self. This provides direction and ignites motivation to progress quickly toward your biggest goals.

  • Josh Waitzkin was a chess prodigy who became disillusioned with chess and left the game to pursue meditation, philosophy, and tai chi.

  • He applied the principle of “investment in loss” to become a world champion in Taiji Push Hands in 2004.

  • “Investment in loss” means deliberately putting yourself in difficult situations against superior opponents to force adaptation and improvement. It is an extreme form of deliberate practice.

  • Deliberate practice counters our natural tendency towards “automaticity” or habitual ways of thinking and acting. It requires conscious effort towards specific challenging goals.

  • Josh used “investment in loss” by training with much stronger opponents who smashed him around at first. Rather than avoiding difficulties, he leaned into them to rapidly improve his skills.

  • Failing against superior opponents as your Future Self is better than succeeding as your current self because it drives necessary adaptation and growth.

  • Adolf Hitler wanted to be an artist in his youth. He failed to get accepted into art school twice, a significant blow. This rejection ultimately led Hitler down a very different and darker path rather than pursuing his original dream.

  • When people give up on their true desired future self, they often end up on an alternative “shadow career” path. Hitler is an extreme example of failing to pursue genuine dreams and passions.

  • To be truly successful, you must be true to your future self and what you want, even as that evolves. Success is not about fame, money, accomplishments, etc. It’s about living the life you genuinely wish to.

  • Many people appear successful on the outside but aren’t living their true desired life on the inside. Likewise, some who don’t have conventional success are living their ideal life.

  • You can only judge someone’s success by knowing their aims. If they aren’t pursuing their real dreams and being true to their future self, they aren’t truly successful, no matter how it appears externally.

  • Your view of God directly impacts your view of your future self and potential. Any view that limits your future self should be questioned.

  • One standard view is that God predetermines everything, including human destiny. This can lead to a lack of agency and responsibility for one’s future.

  • Another view is that God is utterly unknowable to humans. This can leave people needing clarification about their identity and trajectory.

  • The author resonates most with the perspective that God is our parent, and we are God’s offspring with divine potential. This elevates humanity and unites us with God.

  • With the capacity to become like God, our future selves have limitless potential. Life is a step in our evolution toward an elevated state.

  • This perspective enables the author to see every person as having the potential to become divine, not as ordinary. Our future trajectory is more powerful and accurate than our current state.

Here are some critical points for clarifying your contextual purpose:

  • Connect with your long-term Future Self to get a bigger picture perspective. Imagine who you want to become in 10+ years.

  • Clarify your contextual purpose through 3 significant priorities. These are the most essential objectives you could accomplish in the next 1-3 years.

  • Set massive 12-month targets related to those priorities. Break down your significant preferences into concrete goals for this year.

  • Don’t get bogged down trying to determine your “life’s purpose.” Focus on a contextual purpose - the most essential thing for your life. This will likely change over Time.

  • Limit yourself to only 1-3 critical priorities at a time. Most people spread themselves too thin with too many goals. Laser focus is vital.

  • Connecting with your Future Self and clarifying focused priorities gives you direction and meaning. It enables you to make decisions aligned with what matters most.

  • Be open to course correct. As you evolve, your priorities and purpose may shift. Your Future Self will have new perspectives over Time.

The key is to get ultra-precise on the 1-3 most important objectives right now. This gives you focus and direction to make the right decisions each day.

Here are the key points from the passage:

  • Have three core objectives or priorities you are trying to accomplish. More than that, and you won’t achieve any of them effectively.

  • Your life is like a garden - be intentional about what seeds (investments/priorities) you plant, as they will shape your future self and life.

  • Define your current purpose through 3 clear priorities that would take your life to the next level if achieved. These will be your main focus areas.

  • Set 12-month measurable goals for each of those three priorities. Rank order them by importance/impact.

  • Ask which top goals you could potentially 10X in the next 12 months. 10X goals force you to reconsider your current processes and pathways.

  • The key is to be focused, intentional, and purposeful about several seed investments/priorities to maximize your future self’s growth and compounding results.

  • To achieve 10x growth on a goal, you likely need to completely rethink your approach rather than try harder at your current strategy. Be willing to experiment and iterate.

  • Focus on just one or two top goals for exponential growth. Trying to improve only a few things dilutes your efforts.

  • Clarify your purpose and top priorities first. Then, be ruthless about eliminating anything that conflicts with those top priorities. Say “no” to lesser goals.

  • You can discern your actual commitments based on your behaviors, not just what you say you’re committed to. If you need to progress on a goal, your actions show you are committed to something else.

  • Fully commit 100% rather than only 98%. It’s easier once you entirely save and remove internal conflict.

  • Evolving your identity involves moving from needing something to wanting it to knowing it as part of you. Requiring creates unhealthy attachment; wanting is an improvement, and knowing makes certainty.

  • To become your future self, continually refine your purpose, eliminate lesser goals and distractions, and evolve your identity. It’s an ongoing process requiring mindfulness and discernment.

  • Amanda Palmer made money as a living statue, handing flowers for tips. As her music career took off with the band The Dresden Dolls, she missed the direct human interaction from her statue days.

  • She and her band started asking fans for help and favors using Twitter - getting free pianos to practice on, home-cooked meals, and more. Her fans were eager to assist.

  • Their album underperformed expectations when The Dresden Dolls signed with a major label. A fan approached Palmer, apologized for illegally downloading her music, but wanted to give her $10 directly.

  • This inspired Palmer to leave her label, give away music for free, and fund projects by directly asking her fans for support. She knew she could count on their help and appreciation.

  • She asked for $100,000 on Kickstarter for her next band’s album and raised over $1 million. She had an intimate connection with her fans, and they were happy to fund her dreams, not just consume her art.

  • The key takeaways are asking directly for what you want/need, trusting that people want to help if connected to your purpose, and reciprocating appreciation. This allows more independence and freedom than relying on institutional intermediaries.

Here are the key points from the passage:

  • Automate and systemize routines to achieve your Future Self goals more quickly. Automation ensures consistency.

  • Start small and refine over Time—design systems around your Future Self.

  • Impose friction where you want to avoid undesired behaviors. Remove friction to make desired behaviors automatic.

  • Effectiveness (doing the right things) comes before efficiency (doing things right).

  • Get the right people (whos) to take care of the house so you can focus on bigger goals.

  • Delegate decision-making to filters (like an assistant) to avoid decision fatigue and regret.

  • Committing to your Future Self and simplifying objectives helps create effective systems. Be patient as techniques are refined over Time.

  • To become your Future Self, prioritize and schedule Time for your top goals and priorities. Your schedule should reflect your Future Self, not just your current battles and distractions.

  • Most people allow their schedule to be dominated by urgent tasks and meetings rather than deliberately designing Time for their most important work.

  • Taking ownership of your schedule requires saying “no” to lesser goals and distractions. Be willing to put the important before the urgent.

  • Block off specific days or times dedicated solely to your top 1-3 priorities and goals. For example, certain days could be just for writing or creative work.

  • Scheduling time for your Future Self will require commitment and courage to avoid falling into busyness and resistance. But it enables greater focus, flow, and results.

  • Failure at the level of your Future Self is better than success at the status of your current self. Design your schedule around becoming who you want to be.

  • Continually refine your schedule as your goals evolve. Time mastery is an ongoing process of prioritizing your Future Self over lesser goals wanting your attention.

  • The seven steps to being your Future Self now are:

  1. Define your Future Self vision
  2. Make Future Self the priority
  3. Create Future Self systems
  4. Surround yourself with Future Self people
  5. Define your top 3 priorities
  6. Schedule time for your top 3 priorities
  7. Aggressively complete imperfect work
  • Clarifying and focusing on your Future Self vision enables you to live with more intention and commitment.

  • Weeding out lesser goals and aligning your schedule with your top priorities shapes your life toward your Future Self.

  • Becoming prolific, producing imperfect but completed work, is how you make progress and invest in your Future Self.

  • The more straightforward and more precise your Future Self, the more focused you can be now.

  • These steps will change your life as you become more intentional about being your Future Self. You will know what you want is yours.

  • Freedom lies in boldly being your Future Self now, not waiting for some distant future date. The Time is now to shape your life through focused vision, priorities, and action.

  • Ren and I had just finished undergrad degrees and lived in her parents’ basement. I had been rejected from 15 PhD programs and felt uncertain about the future, though I knew I wanted to be an author someday.

  • We still need kids, and I wasn’t an entrepreneur. Little did we know we’d adopt three siblings and have three more kids. Little did we know my writing career would take off.

  • I don’t know what we wrote in our time capsule, but I’m sure our lives turned out far beyond what our former selves imagined.

  • Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast) made time capsule videos for his future self - 6 months, one year, five years, ten years out. In the five-year one, he hoped for 1 million YouTube subscribers but had 44 million. He vastly outperformed his expectations.

  • As a final call to action, I invite you to make a time capsule for your future self in the next 24 hours, whether a video, letter, etc. Make bold predictions. Your future self will likely be very different than you expect.

  • With your time capsule complete, be your future self now. Do what your future self will do. Know what you want is already yours. Commit 100% to your desired future self. Remove lesser goals. Turn every experience into a gain.

  • Congratulations on investing in yourself by reading this book. Go now and be your future self.

  • A sense of meaning and purpose is critical for well-being and motivation. Viktor Frankl emphasized finding meaning amidst suffering.

  • Goals provide direction, and hope fuels perseverance towards those goals. Hope involves both the motivation and pathways to achieve goals.

  • We can grow and develop new capabilities throughout life. Mindsets, expectations, and environments shape our development.

  • Regular small actions compound into significant change over time through the consistency of habits. Deliberate practice builds skill incrementally.

  • The future self is a critical concept in psychology. Visualizing and connecting with your future self can motivate goal-oriented behavior.

  • Attention determines experience. We can selectively focus on information and narratives that serve our goals and growth.

  • Courage is acting despite fear. It is a trainable skill developed through practice. Boldness shapes our identity and unlocks access to new opportunities.

  • Overall, human behavior is driven by beliefs, expectations, and environment. We can optimize these factors to propel our growth and intentionally shape our future selves.

Here is a summary of the key points from the two passages:

Part 1

  • Discusses principles and ideas from various self-help, psychology, philosophy, and religious books. Key topics include human behavior, leadership, goal-setting, history, dealing with change, habits, flow, finding meaning, future self, and walking in circles when lost.

  • Emphasizes practices like mindfulness, prioritizing essentialism, cultivating positive habits, getting into flow states, imagining conversing with your future self, and the importance of purposeful practice.

  • Touches on teleological ideas of change, control, and God’s plan. Suggests relinquishing the need for control and aligning with divine will.

  • Quotes from Shakespeare on acting and contrasts external locus of control vs. internal.

Part 2

  • Opens with Frankl on finding meaning in suffering. Discusses historical government corruption.

  • Covers Aristotle’s views on teleological causation. Mention principles from startup/business books.

  • Discusses habits, self-efficacy, deliberate practice, and automaticity. I am waiting, imagining my future self, for advice.

  • Mentions conflicting advice on living—Locus of control, a simulation hypothesis, game metaphor for life.

  • Quotes Bible verses emphasizing humans made in God’s image and joint heirs with Christ.

  • Closes with a poem portraying God as a father.

Overall, the passages compile advice from various self-help and philosophical sources, emphasizing practices for self-improvement, finding meaning and purpose, and aligning oneself with a higher power or future self.

  • Viktor Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor who founded logotherapy, which focuses on finding meaning and purpose in life, even suffering.

  • Frankl’s experiences in Nazi concentration camps shaped his perspective. He realized that people could find meaning and purpose even in horrendous circumstances. This gave him hope.

  • Frankl believed that humans are pulled forward by the future, and discovering meaning and purpose gives life significance. He saw three pathways to importance: creative values, experiential values, and attitudinal values.

  • Frankl argued that humans have an innate will to meaning. We have the freedom to find meaning in any circumstance. This allows us to transcend suffering.

  • Logotherapy focuses on helping people find meaning. Frankl believed sense comes from outside ourselves. We have to look beyond our ego.

  • Frankl saw humans as having unlimited potential. We are always progressing toward fulfilling our potential. This view of the future self gives us purpose and direction.

  • Frankl believed no one could take away our freedom to choose our response to circumstances. This freedom gives us power and control.

  • Frankl’s ideas center on the human drive for meaning and purpose. He showed that even in great suffering, we can exercise our freedom to find meaning and fulfill our potential. This gives us hope and direction for the future.

Here are the key points from the summary:

  • The “Future Self” concept is essential for understanding human behavior and motivation. Research shows people make more far-sighted decisions when they vividly imagine their future selves.

  • Some threats disconnect us from Future Selves, like lack of hope, reactive narratives about the past, and getting trapped in short-term thinking. Awareness of these threats helps us make decisions to benefit our Future Selves.

  • Our Future Slaves can guide us if we see them as mentors. The vivid details of future goals give direction in the present. Small actions now steadily build the person we want to become.

  • We should expect our Future Selves to differ from what we imagine. Failures and course corrections are part of the journey. Staying true to our core values helps us flexibly pursue the future.

  • Steps like clarifying purpose, systematizing habits, asking for help, and scheduling priorities all enable us to act as our Future Slaves in the present moment. When we behave as our Future Self now, we ensure a better future.

In summary, consciously developing a relationship with our Future Selves empowers us to make wise, long-term decisions and build the lives we truly want. Understanding this concept can help improve decision-making and motivation.

Here is a summary of the key points from the excerpt:

  • The author thanks his team, especially Chelsea Jenkins and Natasha Schiffman, for keeping his business running while he focused on writing this book.

  • He expresses gratitude to everyone engaged with his work through his blog, online courses, and community. They have supported and believed in him.

  • The author thanks his family, especially his wife Lauren and kids, for their love, support, and sacrifices that allowed him to write these books.

  • He thanks God for the incredible life, grace, and gifts he has received. The author knows his connection with God will grow.

  • In conclusion, the author shows appreciation to the important people in his life who have contributed to the creation of this book - his team, readers/community, family, and God.

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