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Take Ownership of Your Future Self

https://hbr.org/2020/08/take-ownership-of-your-future-self

hbr.org

Take Ownership of Your Future Self
Change is inevitable — but it’s not out of your control.

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Albert Einstein

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Albert Einstein

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Imagining Your Future Self

Imagining Your Future Self

Most people tend to visualize themselves as being the same after a decade, mistakenly assuming that the current version of us is our best and last one. We are a work-in-progress with our skills, likes, dislikes change over time, making us completely different from what we think we would be.

There are three main steps that can help us blossom into someone desirable: Distinguishing our various selves, imagining our desired future self, and changing our identity narrative.

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Distinguish Your Various Selves

  • Labelling ourselves into definitive personality types (like an introvert or not being a people’s person) limits our minds and robs us of our space to evolve and change over time.
  • We get stuck in the self-labelling and the various ‘accepted truths’ about ourselves that we assume cannot change.

The truth is we are never the same person as we were in the past.

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Imagine Your Desired Future Self

  • Using deliberate practice, imagine a clear goal of what you want to achieve in the future and work towards it by reverse-engineering the process. Having a ‘flagpole’ in the future that you can see clearly can get you there fast.
  • Even our main drivers, motivation and hope, come into formation when a clear picture is visible to us about the desired outcome.
  • Using ‘prospection’, we need to believe we can create a clear and exciting future, and what we do today affects it directly.

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Changing The Identity Narrative

  • Identity, which over a course of time becomes our personality, has tremendous power.
  • Our consistent attitude and behaviours morph us into a certain personality, which can be driven by our ‘identity narrative’ or the story we tell ourselves about our past, present and future.
  • Creating a future identity narrative (and making it known to others) takes courage, but is the only way to be consistent with your proposed self.
  • You have to intentionally decide what your future self is, and embrace the uncertainty, learning, change and failure that comes with it.

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