Stories, science and secrets from the world’s brightest thought-leaders. Behavioral Grooves is the podcast that satisfies your curiosity of why we do what we do. Explanations of human behavior that will improve your relationships, your wellbeing, and your organization by helping you find your groove.
Sunday Aug 13, 2023
Sunday Aug 13, 2023
How can we make better choices today to benefit our future selves? Hal Hershfield outlines strategies like visualizing your future self, writing letters, making commitments, and recognizing that your preferences will change over time.
Hal is a Professor of Marketing, Behavioral Decision Making, and Psychology at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and holds the UCLA Anderson Board of Advisors Term Chair in Management. His research, which sits at the intersection of psychology and economics, examines the ways we can improve our long-term decisions. He joins us on this episode to discuss his new book, "Your Future Self: How to Make Tomorrow Better Today".
It was so tempting to make this conversation with Hal really philosophical. Is our future self the same person as today, or more like a stranger? Do memories make us who we are? How can we bridge the existential gap between our future self and current self?
But listeners will be glad to know that Kurt and Tim also delve into the practical aspects of Hal’s research, touching on how we can help ourselves plan for the future. The biggest take away though is that Hal emphasizes the need to make sacrifices feel psychologically easier today in order to benefit our future selves.
He outlines three "time travel mistakes" we frequently make: missing our flight represents getting stuck in the present, poor trip planning represents thinking about the future but not deeply, and packing the wrong clothes represents unfairly projecting our present emotions onto our future selves.
Want your future self to still be able to listen to Behavioral Grooves Podcasts? Invest in the show’s future by making a small donation on Patreon so we can keep bringing you insightful conversations like this one. Thank you to all our listeners to help make the show!
(2:54) Welcome and speed round questions.
(7:14) Is our future self actually the same person?
(11:18) Do memories make us who we are?
(15:20) Common time travel mistakes.
(22:36) Why you should write a letter to your future self.
(27:51) What do you need to do today to make tomorrow better?
(34:49) Does looking back on your regrets help you look forward.
(38:42) Hal’s future musical tastes.
(44:10) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim on our future selves.
© 2023 Behavioral Grooves
Hal Hershfield’s book “Your Future Self: How to Make Tomorrow Better Today”: https://amzn.to/3E2acSh
Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2003) “Affective Forecasting”: https://dtg.sites.fas.harvard.edu/Wilson%20&%20Gilbert%20%28Advances%29.pdf
John Locke: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Locke
Ship of Theseus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus
Strohminger N, Nichols S. (2014) “The essential moral self”: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24503450/
Behavioral Grooves Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves
The National “Sea Of Love”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIWmRbHDhGw
Guster “Satellite”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAkvb2Rhces
Cat Stevens “Father & Son”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6zaCV4niKk
The Beatles “Help”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q_ZzBGPdqE
Belle and Sebastian “I want the world to stop”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjW3tZhdnyw