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Thinking about 2020
People participate at the end of the year in two important mental sports.
One is looking back over the past 12 months; the events, trying to remember details, the advancements or a loss.
Then, there is the expectations of the coming year; hopes, desires, and dreams.
Dwelling on the past is not necessarily the greatest way to find meaning in life.
But it is good to think about the future. It depends on how we think about the future, however, because prospecting about your it can enrich your life.
Use experience: what we have learned from other people’s experiences and even from characters in books and movies can predict our future. And we can consider multiple directions our futures might take. Studies have shown that people who feel “close to themselves” in a future scenario make better long-term decisions.
Maybe you just need to think more positively about your future. Actually, no.
Work by psychologist Gabriele Oettingen highlights that positive thinking about our future can backfire. The more people positively fantasize about successfully reaching their goals, the less effort they put into realising them.
However, studies found that benefits come from positive expectations (“judging the desired future as likely”). For example, people who expected to lose weight were more likely to lose weight.
Other studies suggested that when people have high expectations for succeeding at something, rather than just fantasying about it, forces them to consider what might impede their goals. This gives them the energy to try to overcome those barriers.
In other words, it helps to stress yourself out a little bit.
Also, if you are making big plans for self-improvement in 2020 and think it may take too long to do, remember this:
“If you think, for example, a two-year course will take too long to do, ask yourself how old you will be in two years if you don’t do it. Then ask yourself how old you will be in two years if you do do it. The answer should be the same.”
We wish you the very best for 2020 and all the opportunities that the year will bring.
The GBN Team