Change and Self-Delusion

Over the weekend I witnessed a number of “older” gentlemen sporting white socks and white tennis shoes. I said to my wife, while pointing to one of the fashion offenders, “Please never let me do that.”

Later in the weekend, my 18 year-old daughter said, “Boy, Dad, those tennis shoes sure are old.” Mind you, I had my lawn mowing shoes on…so I think just maybe I’m out of the danger zone, as awareness is the first step.

036 lawn mowing shoes

Photo by Mark Baker

However, I recently read a couple of articles where actual decisions on change were researched. We look back at the past and realize we’ve changed significantly, but looking forward we don’t think we’ll change as much. In the moment, we tend to make more conservative choices based on a bias toward future stability. Even though they may be the most risky given the actual changing environment.

Is it because it is easier to think of our past, but hard to imagine the future? Do we not perceive the world changing around us? Do we just get lazy and don’t care anymore? Do we see the world as changing more slowly than it actually is?  Have our inherent values changed and we’re comfortable in what we’ve achieved, and thus are less motivated to change for the better?

I’ll keep wearing my white tennis shoes for mowing the lawn, but continue to observe, and accept advice and scrutiny from others on my fashion choices.

See On the End of History Illusion.


One Comment on “Change and Self-Delusion”

  1. Matt Garadis says:

    I love this post. I try to live by the motto of not being the dad who says “back in the day we did it this way and all you kids have it easy – or (fill in the blank).” Because every generation can say that but change is real and I prefer to try and keep up with it.

    Great post!

    Thanks Matt

    Sent from my mobile phone.


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