Present Bias: Why It's So Hard to Give a Damn About Our Future Selves - Deepstash
Present Bias: Why It's So Hard to Give a Damn About Our Future Selves

Present Bias: Why It's So Hard to Give a Damn About Our Future Selves

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Present Bias: Why It's So Hard to Give a Damn About Our Future Selves

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The Present Bias

It describes our tendency to choose a smaller, immediate reward over a larger reward in the future. Ice cream tastes better than broccoli. Buying new clothes is more fun than saving money for a far-off retirement.

Present bias leads us to forever putting off the harder things that set our future selves up for success. When we fail to eat healthier, save more, or make progress on our goals, we’re digging ourselves into holes and leaving it to our Future Selves to try and find a way out.

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  • Help out your future self. For example, if you have a hard time saving money, automate your savings withdrawals every month so it happens without you having to think about it.
  • Find ways to make the “right” thing a little more pleasant. Seek out a form of exercise you actually enjoy.
  • Reframe how you think about rewards. When it comes to accomplishing goals, research shows that enjoying the process is a far better predictor of success than desiring the long-term outcome.
  • Imagine your future self. At the beginning of every day, imagine yourself completely satisfied at the end of the day. What one thing have you accomplished?

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