#TEDTalkTuesday: The battle between your present and future self

For this week, I’m putting up Daniel Goldtein’s The battle between your present and future self.

There are so many good points in this talk, I don’t even know what to highlight. But basically, it reminded me of two things:

First, we’re always facing an inner conflict. Decisions are always being made every moment of our lives. Some things, we don’t dwell on too much. Should I get up now? What should I watch? What words should I say next? But there are things that zaps out all our energy when we deliberate them. Should I apply for this job? Should I express my feelings? Should I make peace with the enemy?

It’s true that the present self is the one in action; the one thinking. And it’s always the future self who’s affected; the one concerned. Funny how we have a ‘conflict of interest’ between two sides of the same being, eh? Personally, I’ve lived my life pleasing only my present self before. But now, I’m humbled to say that I’ve learned my lesson. I’m not as selfish and reckless as I was back then. I still think of myself, but I’m more inclined to my future self’s welfare. As the scripture reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:23,

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. (NIV)

Yes, we certainly can do all things! But, what are they for? And at what cost?

Second, we’re always growing… but sometimes, it’s not ‘up’. I am in no position to call myself a grown up now (though my age compels me to own up that phase), but I’m pretty sure that I’m still growing. Of course, I don’t intend to ever stop, so maybe it’s safe to say that I won’t ever be a ‘grown up’? 😛  Anyway, back to my point: I know that I’m growing AND I am striving for it to become an actual climb from my former self.

In school, we were taught that in language acquisition, if one cannot add anything from a previously  understood input, then there’s no learning–you have to step up from what you already know. (Yep, I’m talking Krashen’s Input Hypothesis! HAHA!). We can fuss, cuss, and hustle all we want and still end up staying in the same place, like, running on a treadmill. Unless I choose to step off of that platform and actually bring myself outdoors and run down different paths, then I’m stuck staring at the same wall and running the same surface. And all that benefits there are my muscles; my mind and soul would remain untouched. (Anyway, I don’t do the treadmill nor do I run. Sorry. But yeah, maybe I ought to. You know, to grow up ‘more’.)

All in all, I am reminded to make better choices that’ll create stepping stones for me and for the people around me. After all, I may only be deciding for myself, but I know the resolutions that I make about my inner battles somehow creates an impact to my society to some extent, no matter how petty these things might feel to me.

And, oh! Of course! I will NOT let the battle between my present and future self occupy my whole cognitive and affective processes.


(To know more about the Daniel G. “Dan” Goldstein, you may visit his website here. Featured image courtesy of ted.com)

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