How to Imagine The Future

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You know how in movies slash real life people say/you have said/you have been told, “It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve changed”?  

Guess what - even outside of those miserable moments, it’s really true, except it applies to all of us!

I just read a study* that shows that while all of us readily report that we have changed immensely in the past 10 years, we consistently underestimate how much we will change in the next 10 years. 

Interesting, right?

The researchers called this phenomenon, “the end of history illusion.” They explained that, “people, it seems, regard the present as a watershed moment at which they have finally become the person they will be for the rest of their lives.”

They found a couple of likely explanations for why we do this:

  1. We like to think highly of ourselves and predicting less change supports our belief and makes us feel secure that right now, we are doing well.

  2. It’s hard to construct or imagine new things. Because it’s harder to imagine how we will change than to reflect on how we have changed, we are then more likely to draw the conclusion that future change is unlikely.

Powerful stuff, right? Said another way, we “confuse the difficulty of imagining personal change with the unlikelihood of change itself.”

Here’s why I find this exciting: however stuck you or I might feel in this moment, however routine our lives may feel, however fixed, it will all change.

We, can change it. You, can change it.

Career burnout. Work frustrations that seem to just occur again and again. Frustration with management or your direct reports. Everything can change if we ourselves change how we approach and address these challenges.

It’s liberating isn’t it?

With this knowledge, the changes that seem too big to imagine suddenly become more reachable, don’t they? Inevitable, even.

We’re going to be talking about shifting your perspective on job searching at our event on February 28th.

Feeling stuck and stagnant at work? This is for you. Ready for a fresh photo for LinkedIn to show up as you are right now (which recall, is who in this moment you are meant to be!) - we got you covered. We’ll have a photographer working throughout the event to take your photo and make you look awesome.

Sign up using the form below or by clicking here.

As Simon & Garfunkel say, the times, they are a-changing.

*Click here to read the study, Quoidbach, J., Gilbert, D.T., Wilson, T.D., The End of History Illusion, 339 Science 96-98.

Ami Watkin