The Distinction Between Your Present and Future Self

Every one of us knows that we have to grow old eventually. However, none of us seems to realize this at present and we keep on living our life the way we are living it. Very few of us are smart and they know that they will someday get old, thus they start preparing for in the present.

Besides these few people rest all of us live in the present without any attention or heed to the undeniable and inevitable future that is just around the corner. In the lines below, I shall discuss with you what these smart people do and how they do it to make sure that their future is as good as their present.

The Distinction between Your Present and Future Self

Identify The Distinction:

The prime thing the wise people do is that they identify the distinction between their present and future self. These wise and smart people understand that they have their present self and they have the future that is soon to fall upon them, however, the fact that they are able to differentiate between the two is what makes them wise and smart from others. The rest of the people also knows that they have to grow old, but they don’t see being old in comparison with their present and thus they don’t identify the distinction.

Hence, when people don’t identify the distinction they don’t prepare for the future self and keep on keeping the present self happy and oblivious of what is to fall upon them. On the other hand, smart people identify the distinction, place their present and future self together and try to create a balance where their future self is as happy as their present self. Thus, such people are the ones who know and understand that life is not only what is present, rather the future is also a part of life that goes on becoming present with every second and every minute that passes.

What Do They Do?

In order to keep their future and present self happy at the same time, they place both of themselves in front of each other and analyze the kind of effects a particular activity or approach will have on both themselves. For instance, pertaining to eating, they will analyze their eating of junk food with its effects on their present and future self, they will see that eating of junk food makes the present self happy, but it makes the future self equally unhappy as the future self becomes obese and unhealthy. Similarly, when it comes to spending or saving money, they see it with its effect on present and future self. They see how much spending of money would make the future self angry and how much saving will make the present self uncomfortable. Thus, whatever they do in life, they do it by creating a distinction between present and future self and see how their doing will affect both of them selves, and in light of that try to strike a balance where both the selves are happy. In order to achieve this balance, these wise people do things in particular. These two things are as follows:


The first thing that wise people do to make their both selves happy is to practice self-control. In order to make both the selves happy they have to strike a balance that can only be achieved by doing something and refraining from others. Therefore, by practicing self-control they try to keep both the selves happy.


Commitment Devices

In psychological terms, commitment devices refer to the decisions you make with a cool head in order to bind yourself and stop it from doing something regrettable. Thus, whenever these wise people are at a party they have the commitment device working for them when they pass the dishes at the table, similarly, their commitment devices come into action when they have spare money at their disposal and instead of throwing it on useless things they invest it properly. Therefore, by establishing commitment devices they stop themselves from making bad decisions.

Now it’s Your Turn!

Do you make a decision about your future? Do you do it by keeping in mind your present? How do you ensure that you do the right things in the present to have a good future? Share your insight with us.

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22 responses to “The Distinction Between Your Present and Future Self”

  1. Disha Sharma says:

    Really enjoyed the article. Thanks Nate 🙂

  2. Aditya Singh says:

    Really Nice article , I haven’t decided about the future because I think for the present. Your article is really going to help me as now i will follow few points.

    Having a Self Control is also important because if you don’t have self control then you can loose your patience.

  3. That is so very cool, Nate – I do look at where I’m at now and how what I do will affect my future – especially easy when thinking of eating and exercising – and can be a bit harder when we make buying decision!:) Great reminders!

  4. Jill says:

    My husband and I are both building our future online. I am a blogger and he is a Software Engineer. I’m loving your website.

  5. Nomusa says:

    These are very wise words Nate. It comes back to The Slight Edge again. You must do today what others won’t to have tomorrow what others can’t.

  6. Really, you can’t live one without it affecting the other. What you do in the present affects or implicates the future… an you can’t live the future before living the present. You did a great job explaining!

  7. Hi Nate,

    I enjoyed reading your post. I have to admit I was one of the ones that didn’t think too much about the future but realizing that is a mistake in more ways than one and trying to secure my future now.

    Thanks for the good advice. Monna

  8. Very intriguing article Nate. Made me step back and think about what I am doing for my future. As you rightly mention we live in the now, but even those we are aware that the future will come and things will change, health etc, we often just sweep it aside and still go forward in the now. Will be more diligent of focussing on my future and present self now that you have bought it to my attention. Thanks for sharing

  9. Sharyn says:

    Nice blog; well done!

  10. Steve Clausell says:

    Another great post Nate,

    You have certainly opened my eyes in respect to present and future distinctions. Your blog opens up dialog and insite to preparing for the future as well as living in the present..

    Thanks again for sharing Nate…

  11. Tony Koker says:

    Great article. Thought provoking and inspires one to action. I find that by repeating my “self-talk” repeatedly keeps me focused on the present and sympathetic with the vibrations and actions necessary to realize the future vision, goal and objective.

  12. Awesome post on the distinction between your present and future self, Nate! Tons of value!! Thank you for sharing!!

  13. Wow, you are right. I have not really even thought about life in the future. I need to start focusing on doing things to ensure a great future.

  14. Sandy K Hardy says:

    I appreciate your post! It has made me realize I have to look at how I am making my decisions.

  15. Adam Payne says:

    Top post again Nate,

    The future is indeed vital. I shudder to think what will happen to those who do not prepare for it.



  16. Ryan Biddulph says:


    I intend to be as disciplined as possible. This is challenging at times but I do make it my habit nature…most of the time 😉 Make wise decisions for now, and the future, because the future will be here more quickly than you think 😉

    Thanks Nate!

  17. Esha says:

    This is important because you need to be present and at the same time know where you want to go in the future.

  18. Nate, this post was very interesting.. you know how sometimes we look at post that are on information we are knowledgeable about… well..this was not one of those moments for me.. I had no idea what you were going to say.. lol.. I have learned something.. now the good thing is that I’m not to far off.. as my present self and future self are in a pretty joyful state.. yet it’s great to have this information to help me stay this way.. Thanks so much.. keep smiling

  19. Merle says:

    Well what can I say? I am old but have always been told I am smart but as you say it is all down to self control and glad I am where I am today. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Hi Nate,

    Self control is the key. Well, I keep repeating this to myself- ‘what I do today will decide my future. The better I work today, the happier I’ll be tomorrow.’

    But, sometimes, maintaining this level of ‘discipline’ becomes tough. I tend to commit mistakes. But, with practice, I’m improving each day.


  21. Hi Nate..
    I don’t see distinction per say, but rather a “morphing” into a new phase of living. I have learned that it is best to live in the moment of each day. Certainly you can plan for the future and have things ready as you age, but I think exploring one day at a time is the best place to be. It’s all anyone has really.

  22. Hi Nate ,
    I saw a lot of people in my life working for the future and not really living and when it came to the time they hoped to enjoy ,it was too late, I give the best I can and do what I like and trust.
    Thank you for this article

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