It’s tough to plan for your future when you don’t know what that future holds.
For one, the world around you is constantly changing. You may be sure of your current situation, but what will your life be like five years from now? Ten? Odds are you can’t come close to making an accurate guess. (In some cases, it’s tough to predict just one year out!)
For another, you change. As you grow and develop, your priorities and values grow and develop too. What made you happy in the past may not make you happy in the future. In 2006, Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert published Stumbling on Happiness, a book about that explores this topic at length. In this presentation from the 2004 TED conference, Gilbert compresses his ideas into bite-sized pieces:
Gilbert says that because we can plan for the future, our preference is to structure our lives in such a way that we’re happy both now and later. The problem is: We don’t know what will make us happy in the future! In fact, Present You usually does a poor job of predicting what Future You will like. [Read more…]