In Life Coaching we sometimes talk about the “Future Self.”
The Future Self is the person that the Present You is continually creating either deliberately or unconsciously.
Parents are typically quite concerned with the Future Selves of their children.
We help them get medical attention and brush their teeth.
We help them to read and work with numbers.
We help them understand their communities or their religious traditions.
We help them learn to swim, and throw balls and ride bicycles.
We help them develop a taste for vegetables and fruits.
We deliberately spend time helping to develop their Future Selves.
As adults we can forget that every day in every thought and action we are still creating our Future Selves.
Author James Clear in Atomic Habits puts it so well:
Every action you take is a vote for [ or against ] the type of person you wish to become.
No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your identity.
This is why habits are crucial. They cast repeated votes for being a certain type of person.
Take a minute and scan some of your recent actions – small and large.
Make note also of a few things you didn’t do.
The food you ate.
The exercise you put off.
The book you read and the television show you didn’t.
The letter you wrote and the phone call you postponed.
The question you asked and the comment you let slide.
The job you applied for and the position you talked yourself out of pursuing.
The neighbor you reached out to and the one you ignored.
The things you bought and the things you built.
Voting is not only our privilege as citizens. What if we used James Clear’s analogy of our actions as votes to become more conscious of how we are creating our Future Selves every day.
The wonderful thing is that you do not have to rethink all your actions at once. Wherever you start bringing deliberateness will ripple out in all directions. Choose one aspect of your Future Self that strikes you as fun or important.
Has your Future Self saved a substantial nest egg with a little bit of money every week?
Is your Future Self slim and fit?
Maybe your Future Self has completed an educational goal or learned a language.
Your Future Self may be celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary.
This week give a little thought to one single aspect of your Future Self and get excited about voting for him or her every week.
Imagine how your Future Self will think about you,
the Past Self,
your Present Self.
The one who made it all possible.
It’s never too late, because you are voting for that Future Self moment by moment whether you are aware of it or not.
Coaching is the best way I know to get really deliberate and conscious about the future we are creating day in and day out.
There’s a lot going on. Get out there and vote!