Monday, October 15, 2012

Now Now Now!

Nico's turn. He wondered why he can happily enjoy a few minutes in bed before he has to get up to get ready for school and really but dread waking up at the very last moment. From 6:50am until 6:59am he is happy. But at 7am, when he has to get up, it hits him all of a suden - particularly on Mondays such as today. I ventured that humans evolved to value the present a lot more than the future (even the near future). It is probably the same reason why most people struggle to save money or stick to a diet. The pleasure of the present overrules the benefit of the future.

I feel like Nico when I have to swim on a cold day. I am fine until the moment right before I have to jump in the pool. At that point I really dread it. But I shouldn't because I know that within 10 minutes I'll be warm from swimming and after an hour I'll be feeling great from the exercise. Still, an hour seems like a century away when my toes touch the cold water!

What to do? Try to avoid making decisions in that last minute when all that matters is the immediate future, e.g., impulse purchase or unscheduled snacks. And generate enough momentum in your life towards the (longer term) things that matter more. For example, after I've driven to the club, parked my car, changed into my bathing suit, and walked to the edge of the pool, there is no turning back.

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