The Past, We Actually See; The Future, We Only Imagine - Deepstash

The Past, We Actually See; The Future, We Only Imagine

One reason this happens is that when we look backwards, the contrast with our prior selves to who we are today is so clear. We can see it so clearly that we have become different people. When we look forward, we can imagine ourselves being a little older, a little grayer, but we don’t imagine, fundamentally, that we’re going to have a different outlook or perspective, that we’re going to be different people. And so those changes seem more amorphous.

This illusion has profound consequences not just for whether we become soccer players or podcast hosts, but for matters involving life and death.


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“An idea is something that won’t work unless you do.” - Thomas A. Edison

Shankar Vedantam explains the profound impact of something he calls the “illusion of continuity” - the belief that our future selves will share the same views, perspectives and hopes as our current selves - and shows how we can more proactively craft the people we are to become.

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