Ace Rimmer and the Future Yous
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
There’s an episode of the Sci-Fi comedy Red Dwarf where Rimmer meets his alternative self. The self he could have been if things had gone differently. Rimmer is mean spirited, annoying and largely detested. The alternate, Ace Rimmer, is popular, generous and loved by all; the exact opposite of Normal Rimmer.
Rimmer learns where his selves diverged. It’s comedy, but raises an interesting thought: there are millions of future yous out there. Imagine if you could meet them.
Picture a huge stadium full of the future yous; ten years from now. They’re all in slightly different conditions of health. Lots of them will look similar but there will be areas of the stadium that have healthier looking yous. Stroll around (freaky as this would be), up and down the aisles. Pick a healthy you and ask them how life’s going. Ask them how they got there. What did they do?
You could ask how your lives diverged. What did they do on that day ten years ago that the “real” you didn’t. You might be surprised to find the change was tiny. Armed with this information you could return to now, inspired to be in the healthy section of the stadium. You’d know what was possible.
But we’re lucky because it’s all possible and we have that opportunity; it’s here today. We don’t need a crazy time travel sci-fi experience. Every day we have the chance to change our future selves. The small changes we make can have massive repercussions as our changes and habits compound over time.
A one percent change today, followed by a one percent change tomorrow will equal a 3,700 percent change in one year. That’s the power of compound interest. Check it out – there's a free tool here. Play around with it; see how tiny investments (these are investments in ourselves of course) ramp up given time. Small changes, compounded over time, can have massive effects.
Some events in life are chosen for us: tragedies; accidents; unavoidable illnesses. These are incidents we have to deal with as best we can. They send us off in new directions and we didn’t choose them. Then there are the seemingly small choices we make every day: the one press-up before bed; the tiny piece of salad we add to dinner.
These choices may seem insignificant; trivial almost. But compounded over time they send us spinning off in entirely new directions; and into alternate future selves.
The future is not fixed. As any investor knows: the best time to invest was twenty years ago. But failing that: today! You can be the future you of your choice. They’re all still available. The question is not who do you want be? but which do you want to be?