What if Your Future Self was Your Hero?

goals growth well-being May 19, 2022
Illustration of Charis Santillie watching Matthew McConaughey speech on TV
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🎧 👉 Prefer audio? You can also listen to me share about this in podcast episode #049 here.

I was recently reminded of a memorable award acceptance speech, which resonated more strongly with me now than it did years ago.

Matthew McConaughey's 2014 Best Actor Oscar speech:

And to my hero, that's who I chase.

Now when I was 15 years old, I had a very important person in my life come to me and say, ‘Who's your hero?’ 

And I said, ‘I don't know. I gotta think about that. Give me a couple of weeks.’ 

I come back two weeks later – this person comes up and says, ‘Who's your hero?’

I said, ‘I thought about it. You know who it is?’ I said, ‘It's me in 10 years.’ 

So I turned 25. Ten years later, that same person comes to me and goes, ‘So, are you a hero?’ 

And I was like, ‘Not even close. No, no, no.’ She said, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘Because my hero's me at 35.’ 

So you see, every day, every week, every month, and every year of my life, my hero's always 10 years away. 

I'm never gonna be my hero. I'm not gonna attain that. I know I'm not, and that's just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing. 

So, to any of us, whatever those things are, whatever it is we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to, and whoever it is we're chasing – to that, I say, ‘Amen.’

To that, I say, ‘Alright, alright, alright.’ To that, I say, ‘Just keep living.' "

Thank you, Matthew!

My future self is my older, wiser self. 

She is my higher self.

She has more knowledge and wisdom. 

She has more clarity and confidence.

She has more peace of mind.

She knows who I am capable of becoming. 

She knows how I feel right now and how to appeal to me – as long as I pay attention to her whispers. 

She knows the next best step for me at any moment – as long as I notice her nudges.

She is my inner compass – as long as I take a moment to look within.

I remember one pivotal moment when I faced a tough decision, and I quickly thought about my future self. 

I knew, without a doubt, that she would regret it if I didn’t choose a specific path. While it may have felt scary at the time, deep down, I felt her assurance that all would be well and it was safe for me to trust her. So I took a leap of faith (and a lot of deep breaths). 

Slowly but surely, my mental and physical health improved due to that decision. And another amazing thing happened, I started trusting her even more, on a more regular basis. 

The more I trusted her, the more aware I was when the best next step revealed itself to me. 

One step at a time. One step after another of trusting her…which, of course, means I started trusting myself. 

And that enabled me to say “yes” to things I wanted that I had previously shoved aside. 

It helped me say “no” to things that no longer suited me. 

And it empowered me to say “I don’t know” when I wasn’t ready to say “yes” or “no.”

How often do you check in with your future self?

How often do you ignore the whispers and dismiss the nudges?

What if you stopped chasing external heroes?

What if you stopped chasing external accomplishments? 

What if you checked in with your future self instead?

How would your life be different?

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” 

– Sean Patrick Flanery

🎧 👉 Prefer audio? You can also listen to me share about this in podcast episode #049 here.

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