Predicting the Future

More often than not, when we’re predicting the future, we think something along the lines of:

“Because I feel like this now, I’m sure that I’m going to feel like this later.”

 This is the biggest trick our mind plays on us, based on the fallacy that there’s some inexorable link between my today experience and my future experience, whether that future is next week or next month.

The relationship between these two things is almost nonexistent, but this simplistic, misleading thought is the source of countless cycles of stress and worry.

As in:

“I feel stressed and overwhelmed now, and things are only going to get busier, so I will surely feel more stressed and more overwhelmed in a month’s time. And I won’t be able to handle that.”

There’s a reason why every athlete’s post-game/match interview is so unrelentingly boring, when they talk about “I just tried to approach the match one point at a time, and I kept fighting until the end, knowing it wasn’t over until it was over.” The only answer is to have this moment be this moment, and the next moment be the next one.

Today I feel the way I feel today.

Tomorrow I will feel another way.

If a strong pattern emerges that connects these two things, and it’s a pattern we don’t like, then by all means we need to make a structural change.

But a few days when we’re dragging can become an unbearable weight if we convince ourselves that the way we feel now is the way we’ll feel forever.

We’re terrible at predicting the future, so the best thing to do is to stop pretending otherwise.

One thought on “Predicting the Future

  1. Another excellent post Sasha. On this same path, my “X” is a mental health professional and has recently had much success studying “the stories we tell ourselves” and how this impacts so much. Just imagine for a moment we had a disagreement with a friend and our interpretation of that was, as so many say, “my friend threw me under the bus”. Fast forward several years, the more we repeat that story to ourselves, the more we resent that friend and reinforce those bad feelings. Then we learn that the friend who didn’t show-up for me when I needed her was due a struggle she was having personally, nothing to do with me and my world. What we have continued to tell ourselves and reinforce those bad feelings was not accurate.
    I’m following this train of thought and it’s really helping.

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