Subject: How You Could Be Enslaving Your Future Self With Current Decisions

What you want is different from what you WANT to want.

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How You Could Be Enslaving Your Future Self With Current Decisions
By The Daily Bell Staff - April 06, 2018

People often tell themselves that they will start their new diet, new exercise regime, or their new life, tomorrow. Either they are too stressed with stuff today, or need one last day to relax before permanently making the change. Then tomorrow comes, and the cycle repeats.

What is happening in cases such as these is referred to in philosophy as a conflict of volitions. Harry Frankfurt, a philosopher at Princeton University, coined the term “higher-order volition” to explain how this conflict is possible. Essentially, what you want to do is different from what you want to want to do.

We want to want to care for tomorrow, but we want to live for the moment. Since we naturally tend to focus on today, our longer-term goals lose out to shorter-term desires. Luckily, research in behavioral sciences can help us align what we want with what we want to want.

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