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I started watching this interesting series on Amazon Prime. It's right up my alley. Extremely Abstract.

It's individual stories, as the name suggests, about either their pasts or futures.

In one of the episode starring one of my most favourite actors Anne Hathaway where she tries to invent Time Travel. She screws up the algorithm and at first creates her Future self and later due to a misunderstanding creates her Past self (a difference of 5 years each side).

Her Future Self asks her a very pertinent question.

Why does she do that?

She keeps saying vague stuff like how she wants to change the world and for the fun of it etc etc.. (reminded me of stuff we answer ourselves or the interviewers :D)

But the Future Self keeps asking her to share the real reason. Finally, she gives in and shares the truth.

The answer is simple. She wants to go back and change a few things that's going to impact the future of her past (i.e her Present). She gets to this only by being true to herself.

It made me think of 3 concepts:

  • Hindsight Wisdom: We are all wise in the hindsight. With the exposure we gain, we try to extrapolate the situation backwards and question our decisions. It is important to understand why we made that decision in the first place. In the absence of this experience we now have, that decision would still make most sense.

  • Grandfather's Paradox: The grandfather paradox is a paradox of time travel in which inconsistencies emerge through changing the past. The name comes from the paradox's description: a person travels to the past and kills their own grandfather before the conception of their father or mother, which prevents the time traveller's existence. In simple terms, if your grandfather didn't exist how would your existence come into the picture.

  • The Butterfly Effect: The butterfly effect, an underlying principle of chaos, describes how a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state (meaning that there is sensitive dependence on initial conditions). Basically, a small change in the past will not just change that part of your past keeping all other aspects of your future the same. It may have a catastrophic change that can redefine your future completely.

Why is understanding these 3 concepts important for our lives?

My Bhabhi calls me a Perpetual Existential Crisis Expert. I prefer calling myself a Seeker.

Naturally, I have a lot of questions which comes from or leads to a lot of thinking. And here is what I thought of.

One, I keep seeing this thing on the internet about What would I tell my 20 year old self? I think that is bullshit. I rather plan what I want to tell my 40 year self about what I did and how I did.

Two, how often we question our past and regret our decisions. A futile exercise in my experience. We did what was right then. We can't go back and just change that part expecting everything else to remain the same.

Lastly, the remembrance that we are all a culmination of what we have done or has happened to us. The only we can be grateful is by respecting our journey. That can happen by being truthful to ourselves like Anne Hathway was in the episode and second acceptance of our reality which you'll see in the next episode.

I will leave you with one exercise: Coffee with Self.

Do a Time Travel. Picture your younger self and all it's finer nuances: your looks, your style, your smile, body language, your routine etc.. You are sitting across your younger self having a coffee about to embark on your past life.

The only catch is that you just have to visualise when you talk to your younger self. Only observation and awareness. No interjection of feelings or emotions or judgments or opinions. Just curiosity and objectivity. State the simple truths of your life.

Think of where you started and where you have reached?
How does that make you feel?
Are you able to accept it?
Do you know what you want to be and how far you are from it?

If you are able to answer these questions, you will be in a better position to work towards having a conversation with your future self.

Ping me how you felt. I'd be keen to learn from your individual experience.

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