Beyond The Numbers – The End of History Illusion.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Don’t think, just answer. It’s difficult to come up with something other than “about the same as I am now”.
Now…close your eyes and really think about how your work situation may change, how your lifestyle may change, how your personal values may change, how your financial situation may change. Still having a hard time envisioning the change? You’re not alone.
The “end-of-history illusion” was coined by three psychologists in 2013 after they completed a series of studies. They took middle aged and above individuals and asked them to evaluate how much they had changed from themselves 10 years ago. They took middle aged and younger people and asked them to predict how much they would change in the next 10 years.
The results? In reality we change a lot over a 10 year period and yet…we still believe that over the next 10 years we won’t change very much.
Why is this important? With so much change that occurs over a 10 year period, it is vital that we are the author of that change instead of allowing the changes to take place as a result of our day to day lives. Said in another way, do you want to design your future self or allow your daily activities to instead shape your future self? I think we all know which answer we’d pick.
Take a moment to answer this question for yourself….what do I know today, that if I knew 10 years ago might have changed your today?
How? Take time to reflect on your past self. Reflect on all the changes that have transpired over the past 10 years and beyond – think about relationships, hobbies, food preferences, clothing styles, things you value in life and beyond. Next, move on to thinking about the type of person you want to be in 10 years. Are there things you want to accomplish? Are there relationships you want to strengthen? Do you want to learn how to cook…or do it better? Grab a pen and paper and write down the ideas for your future self.
When? You need to set time aside to do this very important work…a quiet environment free of distractions is extremely important. Do this once a year (or more often) to check in with yourself to make sure you’re living your life and becoming the person you want to be – live with intentionality.
I’ll end with this quote from Margaret Wheatley: “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”
Michael was searching for his "why" and found it in serving clients in the financial advisory industry; 5 years in and he still really enjoys helping people. Nearly twice Michael’s age, Harry Matheis (MEA alum) showed him the path, warned Michael of the challenges ahead and has been there every step of the way - now they challenge each other and have a relationship that has grown to one of mutual mentoring.