Note: The other day my wife and I were talking with our fourteen-year-old daughter Katie about how she stays ahead of schoolwork and sports, and Katie told us about a strategy she came up with. I thought you might find it useful, so I asked her to write it up. Over to you, Katie:
Five simple words: Make your future self happy.
Choices are simply inevitable. We can choose to do our homework the minute we get home, or we can procrastinate. We can learn that new violin song tonight, or we can wait until tomorrow. We can choose to take risks, or we can shy away from new experiences. We can struggle, push, and yank ourselves out of our comfort zones, or we can put forth half the effort. I admit, I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to most of these things. I actually consider myself a Professional Procrastinator. After all, I’m in ninth grade. I also know that making our future selves happy ALL THE TIME isn’t realistic. However, it’s something we can all strive to do.
We all have those days when we are simply not motivated. You know what I’m talking about: those lifeless hours when our most fervent desire is to lie down and sleep. On those days, I want you to ask yourself a simple question: “would this make my future self happy?” Often times, we give into our present selves. And, every now and then, that’s okay. But, in the long run, will eating four bowls of ice cream really make you happy? Will going on Facebook instead of learning that new violin song help you reach ultimate prosperity?
Imagine your future self as a little man or woman, waving at you from somewhere in the distance. Each day, try doing one or two things that will please the future you.
I don’t doubt that you’ve heard most of this before. Don’t procrastinate, do your best, blah, blah, blah. My aim was simply to condense a page’s worth of information into a manageable sentence that will hopefully stick in your brain: make your future self happy.