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What would a conversation with your future self be like?

Every now and then I have these dreams where I run into a future version of myself and I always wake up with a new perspective on things.

When I was working through a very challenging project I was so close to just quitting and deciding to do something else. For weeks, I was going back and forth about changing my focus, then I had this dream that changed how I looked at things.

I ran into myself five years into the future and we had a conversation about how the project I was working on was going. I confessed my concerns and my desire to quit as if the future me didn’t already know and he listened. The future me heard my story and sympathized with me then said; “Hey I understand and its okay if you want to quit, this isn’t the only thing you can do with your time there are other productive goals you can pursue.”  I felt relieved when future me said that then we started talking about other things. At some point in the conversation I realized that this future version of me seemed to be a constant quitter and never quite finished anything they started. Then it dawned on me this is probably the future version of me that I shouldn’t listen to.

From this experience it is clear that my personal way of processing information is quite different from many people but I believe there is a lesson for all of us to learn. We have to be wise about where we choose to get our advice from. Too often we end up in a bad place because we take advice from the wrong place and sometimes that place is our own feelings and emotions.  A wise man once told me; “you have to develop a systematic way to evaluate whether advice is good or bad before you take action.”

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself when evaluating advice:

·      Does the source have credibility in the subject matter we are discussing?

·      Does this advice conflict with my core values for who I am?

·      Will this advice provide a long term or short-term fix to my problem?

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