Past, present, and future self

Random Observation/Comment #352: Live in the moment and you’ll find happiness in Now instead of later. We are always on a journey, and that journey encompasses the joy.

see lemons here

We have three selves: the reflective, present, and predictive. Our minds shift effortlessly from one self to the next based on our mood, environment, and will. All three of these selves are needed for a healthy brain, but the balance is the key to productivity and overall happiness.

The reflective-self transports you to the past. It reviews the actions, experiences, and lessons that creates your personality.  You pull from these memories the things you’ve sensed (e.g. saw, heard, felt, tasted, and  smelled) on demand in some mystical search result. Sometimes these are voluntary thoughts during times of reflection, and sometimes they just pop into your head because you’re reminded of something from an anchoring idea. In either case, you’re recalling something from the ether and bringing it to your attention.

The predictive-self extrapolates your goals/aspirations and helps you plan for a better tomorrow. This state of mind takes your current conditions and transports you into your imagined future.  This new state is projected based on your analysis of events that may or may not happen, but your brain plans these scenarios to make the best decisions and choices for the moment.  This occurs for spot-decisions and also in long-term planning for careers or upcoming vacations.

What people usually don’t give enough credit to is the most important self: the present self. The present is where real happiness and fun lies. Yes, you can smile and laugh recalling a funny memory or looking forward to a great vacation, but living in the moment is where you’re actually laughing.  The feeling of love and completion all happens now.  The present-self experiences everything and forms memories. It makes decisions and takes action.  The present-self is what’s alive, while everything else is just in your head.

The three selves blend together when you’re solving a problem or making quick decisions (e.g. considering where you’re going to lunch today), but the time I consider important is a complete dedication to each self for a set amount of time each day.  Instead of being distracted by jumping back and forth between reflecting, living, and planning, try to do these at different opportunities.  For example, I always journal during my morning commute. This time of reflection enters me into the day and makes me consider yesterday’s event in order to think forward.

When I’m in my “me-time” (or “clemens-time” or “clementime”), here are the main questions I answer:

  • What did I do yesterday that was fun/exciting/different?
  • What did I learn yesterday?
  • What do I need to do today in order to meet my goals?
  • Who haven’t I spoken with in a long time so I can speak to them today?

Once I’ve answered the questions above, I’m able to live in the moment and spend the rest of the day absorbing and enjoying.

~See Lemons Here