Bruce sent me a link to this New York Times article “Why You Won’t Be the Person You Expect To Be”. It discusses a new study by Dr. Dan Gilbert from Harvard that’ll be published in this issue of Science.
There’s a lot of details you can read at the link, but the essential points:
- You continue changing past your teenage years, past your 20’s into your 60’s.
- People underestimate how much they will change in the future, although they are aware they’ve changed in the past. This has been termed “the end of history illusion.”
Over winter break, we were talking about how much more we’d appreciate college if we just started as we are now. I would take more humanities classes to give myself a liberal education. I would also pick up more practical skills.
In some ways I like that time will give us some separation from ourselves-back-then. I think about forgiveness a lot… not because I committed some grand theft auto back in the day but because it’s something I struggle with. What if I’d gone for it? What if I had said this… or not said that? (See: word vomit.) It’s difficult not to dwell on the past, maybe because I think I would be at a different place if A had happened or B hadn’t happened.
But it’s never too late. Because we don’t ever stop changing. There’s always room for us to improve.
I especially like this quote from the article:
“Middle-aged people- like me- often look back on our teenage selves with some mixture of amusement and chagrin… our future selves will look back and think the very same thing about us. At every age we think we’re having the last laugh, and at every age we’re wrong.”
Laugh. Don’t take yourself so seriously. (In middle school I loved Avril Lavigne. I even went to her concert!- okay, I still like her so that didn’t change.) Laugh at yourself now: you will definitely laugh at you later.
You can also check out the NPR article on the same study “You Can’t See It, But You’ll Be A Different Peron In 10 Years.” (I love the comments on this one.)
How do you hope to change in the next five years?
What was your favorite song in high school?