7 July 2015

Have you ever heard the saying: “Do something today that your future self will thank you for?” I’ve been seeing it a lot recently on social media and I can see why people find it motivational. It’s a great way of challenging ourselves about our thoughts and actions today. Are they self-defeating or self-empowering? Are we choosing immediate satisfaction or long term happiness?

runningI’m not saying those things are mutually exclusive, but – especially when it comes to our health – we often fall into the habit of instant gratification. When I reflect on the times in my life where things have started to feel like a struggle, it seems clear with hindsight that I was not doing the things my future self would thank me for.

For example, working too much without allowing myself time for exercise. Now, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea but, for me, it’s how I switch off. It also goes without saying that exercise also has a load of other benefits. Yet it’s not just about your body, it’s about your wellbeing, and the wellbeing of those around you.

A couple of years ago, a nurse – who looked after people during their dying days – revealed the most common regrets she would hear from her patients. The things people regretted most were the things they hadn’t done, not the things they had. Ultimately, it’s not failing at something that hurts the most; it’s never having tried.

So, what can you do today that your future self will thank you for? It’s worth thinking about that future version of yourself every now and again. Make sure you’re keeping him or her happy. And start now – life’s too short not to.

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