Considering Your Future Self

Hey everyone,

When I’m thinking about doing something that would be good for me, but I don’t want to actually do it, I usually tell myself (or my wife, if she’s around) that “future Peter would want me to do this.” It could be exercising, editing a video or anything else. Picturing myself in the future is helpful for doing the stuff now that I will want to have done later.

It turns out there’s a name for our difficulty in giving equal weight to future self — time preference or temporal discounting. I read a great article this week from Ness Labs about how to understand and use it in our decision making. Key takeaways: bring your future self into your decisions, harness the power of regret, and use the 10-10-10 method (minutes, months, years). I recommend you read it yourself though, and I hope you find it helpful.

Pete’s Picks ✅

  1. Subscription: We caved and got the HBO Now add-on to our Hulu subscription after I developed a True Detective addiction at my in-laws a few weeks back. Got to say I haven’t regretted it at all, and totally crushed The Outsider this week. Highly recommend if you don’t mind paying for yet another subscription.

  2. Blog Post: I’m a huge fan of Patrick McKenzie aka @patio11, an expert on running indie software business and the intersection of engineering and marketing. I read a recent post of his called Don’t Call Yourself a Programmer, which had me alternatively lol-ing and stoping to soak in some of the wisdom. I think it applies for anyone that has a job, not just developers. Key takeaway: what is the value that you’re providing to your company? Think in those terms, not in terms of your job description.