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Lately, scientists have come up with an intriguing hypothesis for why some people fail at long-term planning — they view their future selves as strangers. In fact, the more you view your future self as a distinct entity from your current self, the more likely you are to put off tasks (like saving for retirement) that will benefit you in the long term.
The good news? These researchers have also found tricks that help make us feel closer to our future selves — and could make us better at planning ahead.
Most people don’t feel a perfect continuity with the self they imagine in the future. They put things off — retirement savings, exercise — because they somehow think that this “other” me later on will take care of everything.
What’s more, researchers have been discovering that there’s a link between how we think of our future selves and how we make important choices about our lives. Hal Hershfield, a marketing professor at UCLA, has found that how close people feel to their future selves is related to how much money they’ve already saved up and how much they’re willing to save for the future.
Read full, original post: Why your brain is so bad at planning for the future