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Dan Gilbert: The psychology of our future self. How we change.
Old 07-21-2015, 02:59 AM   #1
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Dan Gilbert: The psychology of our future self. How we change.

I just watched this TED talk about how we change over time and how we think that we won't, and thought I would share with a question to all here: Are you the person that you thought you would be ten years ago? Have you changed in ways that you didn't predict?

As I enter retirement soon I wonder will the things that I value now, like travel etc., certain books, certain experiences, certain events, be important to me in the future? Did your attitudes change a lot in ways that weren't predictable to you pre-retirement? Did some things that seemed important pre-retirement turn out to be less important? Or things that seemed unimportant turn out to be important? Did you develop hobbies or interests that you didn't think of pre-retirement? Did other interests fade away?

Dan Gilbert: The psychology of your future self | TED Talk | TED.com


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Old 07-21-2015, 03:24 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting. TED Talks are my favorites.
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bmcgonig View Post
As I enter retirement soon I wonder will the things that I value now, like travel etc., certain books, certain experiences, certain events, be important to me in the future? Did your attitudes change a lot in ways that weren't predictable to you pre-retirement? Did some things that seemed important pre-retirement turn out to be less important? Or things that seemed unimportant turn out to be important? Did you develop hobbies or interests that you didn't think of pre-retirement? Did other interests fade away?
You're asking all the right questions.

Here's what I think you'll find: A number of the things you pursued pre-retirement (e.g., collecting vintage matchbox cars) were there to counterbalance the stresses of work. Once work is out of the picture, your interest in them will fade away. But new pursuits, more meaningful ones, will take their place, fed by your new perspective.

I made a long list of possible post-retirement activities and interests, and I've yet to refer back to it. The challenge is not finding things to do; it's cutting through all the possibilities and focusing on what matters to you. Because time goes by faster when you're retired. Much faster.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:21 PM   #4
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Focus, That's really a mind-shift, which makes me a little less obsessed with planning my life post-FIRE. Maybe a lot of what I think about is escapist fantasy in reaction to career dullness. Oh well, I still want the free time to find out!


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Old 07-23-2015, 09:36 AM   #5
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Thanks for posting. Apart from his commercial for prudential, I am a big fan of Dan Gilbert. I loved his book "Stumbling on Happiness"
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:57 AM   #6
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Are you the person that you thought you would be ten years ago? Have you changed in ways that you didn't predict?
I went through a life changing event 11 years ago (widowed) and then FIREd within 3 years. Essentially, I had to re-invent my life in terms of relationship, navigate the transition to retirement, and figure out what I considered important. What I did not do was relocate geographically. That seemed a bit much to take on. It's been a hell of a hayride, but I think it turned out well.

I'm calmer and have a better center of gravity than during my career days.

What a relief to get off the hamster wheel.

Did your attitudes change a lot in ways that weren't predictable to you pre-retirement? Did some things that seemed important pre-retirement turn out to be less important? Or things that seemed unimportant turn out to be important?
The FIRE process really showed me how much I had neglected my own personal broadening during my w*rking days. I was a full blown techie (by choice), and was starting to be molded (not my choice) into a contracts manager.
Before I FIREd, I promised myself that I would completely abandon the techie field and do anything but. So I've gone 100% analog except for my email and internet usage.

Did you develop hobbies or interests that you didn't think of pre-retirement? Did other interests fade away?
I have completely immersed myself in container gardening. A lot of my techie skills translated to this hobby, minus the digital equipment. The energy I used to expend toward staying technically current is now aimed at learning the horticultural domain.
Since the snow loading here prohibits having an outdoor greenhouse, I went to Plan B and designed my own indoor growing room. I researched and bought the supplies, and installed them. I used to manage a photonics laboratory, now I manage a small scale plant "laboratory".

It is a huge source of enjoyment year round. I am also eating healthier. WIN WIN.

All interests in staying "current" in the digital domain have faded away.
I am an intentional digital dinosaur.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:37 PM   #7
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I should have provided a better response, as I've been really surprised at how much I've changed, and my experience may be insightful if nothing else. Then again, I have completely changed my identity about every 11 years or so since the age of 20 so this latest change should come as no surprise.

1) Are you the person that you thought you would be ten years ago?

Not at all. 10 years ago I was quite involved in my "career", still had very ambitious plans, and would never have dreamed that today I would be retired and would have absolutely no interest in the field.

2) Have you changed in ways that you didn't predict?

Absolutely, and have been quite surprised at how what little interest I had left in material things has faded. Retired a little over two months now, I've been busy every single day. First, time spent selling old MBZ then buying a new one, only to be surprisingly underwhelmed by the new one. Although I can well afford it, why would someone retired need a "luxury" car? I may very well sell this one in the next 5 years for a Honda or something.

Second, have spent way too much time doing remodeling that was put off way too long while working, only to be spectacularly underwhelmed by the whole process. Yes, I have a gorgeous new shower, but so what? A shower is a shower, after all (even though the shower and other things were in dire need of replacement, I realize now I would much rather have sold this place as is, downsize, and go live on a small houseboat somewhere else.)


3) As I enter retirement soon I wonder will the things that I value now, like travel etc., certain books, certain experiences, certain events, be important to me in the future?

If you're anything like me, probably not. During this remodeling project, I went through and cleaned things that haven't been cleaned in years. As minimalist as I am, I've learned that keeping even some small things from as far back as high school represents hanging onto stuff. When I downsize/move in a few years, I see even more of that stuff going away. How can I design and move into my future when I've got stuff from the past hanging around? It's about creating psychological space to open up and create a whole new future more than anything.

4) Did your attitudes change a lot in ways that weren't predictable to you pre-retirement? Did some things that seemed important pre-retirement turn out to be less important? Or things that seemed unimportant turn out to be important? Did you develop hobbies or interests that you didn't think of pre-retirement? Did other interests fade away?


Again, absolutely. Lately I've been reading this blog (link below) which chronicles the author's journey six months before retirement to the present day. I've realized she has valued adventure and socialization much more than I ever have, and I now want more of that for myself. This to me represents freedom: freedom from the need to accomplish in career, freedom from needing to own, buy, or be attached to any sort of "lifestyle", and freedom to simply experience, explore, discover.

I'm learning that to me that's what I want my somewhat early retirement to be about.

Thoughts from a Bag Lady In Waiting: January 2010
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:23 AM   #8
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[I]

All interests in staying "current" in the digital domain have faded away.
I am an intentional digital dinosaur.

I've been a techie too,and sometimes think, like you, that I will just go analog in the future. But then I realize that being older and more housebound in many years may cause me to need the latest technologies just to function well. E.g., my mom is 97 and lives 5000 miles away. She's quite deaf and can order groceries over the phone, but it's a challenge. I can just go online to Tesco and have everything delivered to her anytime she chooses. Of course we can all do that now, but how will things like this be accomplished in 30 years? Or what great app will exist, e.g., email, that we can't do without? So I worry that if I do fall behind that it may not be easy to catch up and take advantage when I'm older.


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Old 07-25-2015, 08:02 AM   #9
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I'm learning that to me that's what I want my somewhat early retirement to be about.

[url=http://bagladyinwaiting.blogspot.com/2010_01_01_archive.html
Thoughts from a Bag Lady In Waiting: January 2010[/url]

Thanks for the detailed response and the link.


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Old 07-26-2015, 03:43 PM   #10
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Thanks for sharing. A great topic. We are in the middle of cleaning out our 30 year home to sell next year and realized that our hobbies, interests and tastes have changed over the years, so now we hesitate buying "stuff" knowing that we will most likely toss it out several years from now.
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Old 07-26-2015, 04:51 PM   #11
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Are you the person that you thought you would be ten years ago? Have you changed in ways that you didn't predict?

As I enter retirement soon I wonder will the things that I value now, like travel etc., certain books, certain experiences, certain events, be important to me in the future? Did your attitudes change a lot in ways that weren't predictable to you pre-retirement? Did some things that seemed important pre-retirement turn out to be less important? Or things that seemed unimportant turn out to be important? Did you develop hobbies or interests that you didn't think of pre-retirement? Did other interests fade away?
I guess I differ somewhat from some others that have responded, in that I don't really think I have changed all that much in the last 10 years (my wife agrees, by the way). Oh, I have changed some. I definitely buy less "stuff" than I used to, but acquiring lots of material things was never all that important to me (except maybe for a comfortable, livable house and a reliable vehicle). I don't think my attitudes toward most things have changed all that much (same political leanings, same values, etc.). I've always wanted to retire as early as possible (been retired 5+ years now, which worked out pretty much according to plan). I do more work with kids (mostly conservation education stuff) than I used to, and I love it, but that is partly because I have the time to do it now, and really didn't before. As for hobbies, I pretty much enjoy many of the same hobbies I've enjoyed for years, only I have a lot more time to enjoy them now. Perhaps the biggest change for me is that I started to realize as I approached retirement that taking care of my health and fitness level was the most important thing I could do, and something that I needed to actively work at for the rest of my life. In my younger years, I took good health somewhat for granted (probably like a lot of people), but after putting on a few more pounds and developing moderately high blood pressure later in life, I decided that I needed to make some lifestyle changes if I wanted to have a long, healthy, active retirement. I made those changes, and I expect them to remain with me the rest of my life. After seeing several friends and former co-workers around my age develop serious health problems in recent years, I don't take health for granted anymore. I try to remember that every new day is precious.
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