I love trying to understand the behavior we exhibit and the way we think…which is why I loved studying Psychology, I guess. Interesting that a study was done with more than 19,000 people and asked them to report how they had changed in the last 10 years and to predict how much they would change in the next 10 years.
All of those studied believed that they had changed quite a bit in the past 10 years but would change relatively little in the next 10 regardless of where they were in life. It seems that people regard the present as a critical moment at which we have finally become the person we will be for the rest of our lives. This is called ‘the end of history illusion.’ The practical consequence of this understanding is people overpay for future opportunities to indulge their current preferences. At every stage of life, we make decisions that will deeply influence the lives of people we believe we will become. Unfortunately, when we get there we are not as thrilled. Young adults pay to remove tattoos they paid to get when they were teens. Middle-aged adults rush to divorce the people they rushed to marry as young adults. Older adults pay for diets and regimens to lose what middle-aged adults paid restaurants to gain.
We believe that pretty much, who we are today is who we will be in the future; even though we recognize that we are not the people we were in the past.
Maybe this is something we have learned from the pandemic of COVID-19. We really have no idea what tomorrow holds…how we will live our lives in 6 months let alone 10 years from now. If I have learned nothing else from the pandemic, I have learned that Bigfoot’s name is Darryl. But seriously, our future is not as predictable as we might think. I choose to believe that is a good thing…that life continues to be an adventure. Especially as I age, I do not want to think that ‘this,’ whatever ‘this’ is, is how it will be forever…how boring. I expect to have surprises, wonders, journeys, exploits, and a few questionable decisions ahead. I relish it.
The constant, the fact that makes the future unknown so exciting, is that God will be with me. There is nowhere I can go and no foolish decision I can make that God will not be right there with me…protecting, loving, and inspiring me to do better.
Two facts: We are not the people we will be in the future; God will continue to be with us however our paths turn.
Peace and blessings,