There are four ways to play the videogame Rock Band: play guitar, sing, play drums, or play bass. Those are listed in order of enjoyment for me. The reason I don’t like playing bass is because I don’t see how it affects anything. The other three have immediate feedback and I can tell how I’m doing. If I’m doing well at bass, the only reason I know it is because I’m getting the multiplier and not failing. I can’t hear the bass line, so it might as well be me playing random notes.
It’s funny/scary how geared I am toward immediate results. I sometimes feel like I lack the ability to consider the future – I eat this Dove bar because it tastes SO GOOD right now, and even though some part of my brain knows the cumulative effects of eating Dove bars will some day wreak havoc on my body, that knowledge doesn’t stop me from eating it… or the next three in the box. It’s the same reason I can’t motivate myself to work out – I know that getting on the treadmill today will help Future Me, but Present Me doesn’t like how he feels during the process, so he doesn’t do it. Future Me can deal with that stuff later.
Future Me can also figure out how to retire when he gets to that point, and where to put all these old game consoles Present Me is collecting, and how to deal with the house projects Present Me has been putting off. The way Present Me looks at it, Future Me will be older and wiser and will know how to handle all that, and he will forgive Present Me at that point.
I can barely even type that in jest, because it’s too close to home. How can I train Present Me to look toward the future? If I were given three wishes, I think one of them might be the ability to see what would result from my immediate actions. Even having the predetermined-path-indicators like Donnie Darko could see for a while be help a little, I think. If I could see that my half hour on the treadmill today added 3 days to my life, maybe it’d help me get up on the treadmill.
Any thoughts? How have you helped your Present Self start now to help your Future Self? Or is it just a matter of playing bass forever, knowing you’re headed in the right direction just because you haven’t failed out of the song?