How your Now can be wiser than your Next

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Who might be the wiser one in each of these examples? Now or Next?

  • Now wants to stay in bed and take it easy; Next insists that you get up and get back to work (when you're still recovering from the flu).

  • Now keeps complaining about the tedium of your job and thinks there's got to be some job you could enjoy more; Next insists that you continue in your current stable job, which also doesn't pay too bad.

  • Now can hardly tolerate to come home to your spouse; Next insists that persistence and loyalty is paramount.

  • Now is curious to look for and maybe discover different ways to solve the problem you're working on; Next just wants to be efficient and solve it the way you already know will probably work.

  • Now doesn't really want to prepare more for your upcoming presentation, thinking that you might do better thinking on your feet and being more spontaneous; Next wants to nail the script and get it down word for word. 

  • Now wants to take a few minutes break from your daily tasks every 25 minutes or so; Next wants to drive straight through and get it all finished as quickly as possible.

  • Now wants to have a break from all the busyness and "musts" of your life; Next insists on staying productive and doing what has to be done.

Next can become wiser by looking for possible wisdom in what Now wants

Yes, sometimes the only benefit that you'll get when Now gets his or her way is for Now to be happy (which is always an important benefit, regardless).

Often, however, what your Now wants has wisdom behind it for your future. Next needs to listen closely to Now, even heeding his or her desires, which could be better for your future that doing what your Next thinks should be done.

Whenever you're experiencing a conflict between your Now and your Next, in the process of working it out (using the NNI toolkit, if necessary), create the habit of your Next asking the question, "How could what Now wants possibly be better for our future than what I ("I" being your Next) am insisting upon?"

Use kickstarting a mental habit to train your Next to ask this question automatically so that it will occur to you at helpful times.

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