Don’t Screw Over Your Future Self

Want to play a game that helps boost your good intentions and make the right decision, with the added bonus of feeling more comfortable going forward in your life? It’s a little game I like to call “Don’t Screw Over Your Future Self” and it’s pretty easy to play.

Rules:

  1. Stop yourself whenever you’re making a decision, big or small, right before you’re about to act on your decision.
  2. Ask yourself: “Will my future self regret it if I do this?”
  3. If the answer to the question in step 2 is no, proceed to act on your decision. If the answer is yes, ask yourself: “What else can I do in this situation that my future self won’t regret?”
  4. Once you have a non-regrettable decision to act on (or the least-regrettable decision in those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situations), act on that decision.

That’s how you play! But, let’s dive a little deeper into the the problem this game helps with, how and why it works, and some gameplay guidance.

Don’t screw over your future self; make decisions your future self won’t regret. Ignore the instant payoff a decision will give you and think about how you will feel in the future if you make that decision in the present moment.

Pan of Cinnamon Rolls

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