The Wisdom of Tomorrow-Self

“The wisdom of tomorrow-self is this: Focus on one thing you can do today to make tomorrow easier. Repeat.”

I came across this tiny thought in the Farnam Street Newsletter that really resonated with me. I have a lot of self talk about my present self and my future self. I find that when I think of my future self more than my present self my life gets so much better day by day. From small things of getting gas that night rather than saying I will have time to do it in the morning (note: biggest lie I tell myself). To writing that next article for the website to continue to build my education and share it with the world, if I do something for my tomorrow-self today then I am better for it. Breaking down this thought further into steps applies so well to all aspects of life and riding is no exception.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.

How do you eat a whale? One bite at a time.

A year from now you would have wished you started today.

Rather than thinking about how far you have to go with your riding, think only about the next step. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but if you just break it down into the step that right in front of you to then those steps will add up. That effective half halt turns into an effortless transition. That steady hand turns into a consistent contact. That cross rail becomes a 3′ jump. It all happens step by step. Read the tiny thought below.

“There is a constant battle in all of us between our today-self and our tomorrow-self.

Today-self is like our inner child. Today-self cares only about today. It wants to focus on things that offer an immediate payoff. Whether that’s kicking back with a few too many glasses of wine, spending money on status symbols, or avoiding doing things that can be done tomorrow. Tomorrow-self is like our inner adult.

Tomorrow-self cares about things that take time to get results — like working on your relationship, saving money, or consistently moving the project forward one inch at a time.

Imagine you are tasked with building a brick wall. Today-self looks at the empty space in disbelief, discouraged at the size of the project. Today-self decides to start tomorrow. Only tomorrow never comes because the empty space again seems insurmountable. Today-self decides to talk about the wall they’re going to build, as if it were the same as building the wall. It’s not.

Tomorrow-self knows that no one builds a wall all at once. It’s going to take a month of consistent effort from the time you start before it’s done. Tomorrow-self wishes you’d stop thinking about the wall and focus on one brick.

Everything is a matter of perspective. Where you focus determines what you see. It’s easy to get lost in the magnitude of what you’re doing and completely ignore how it gets done. Focusing on the wall makes the task impossible. You have to focus on the brick.

Don’t focus on the enormity of the task, rather focus on the smallest thing you can do that moves you forward. As the momentum builds, things get easier. The second paragraph is easier to write than the first. The second brick is easier to lay than the first.

Grasping this concept and applying it to what you’re doing is the key to accomplishing anything. Focus on a small but critical part of the task that moves you forward. Execute. Repeat. The logic is simple but not simplistic.

The wisdom of tomorrow-self is this: Focus on one thing you can do today to make tomorrow easier. Repeat.”

-Tiny Thoughts from the Farnam Street Newsletter