The Feel Good Feedback Loop
Our past creates our present which becomes our future
Throughout my journey of meditation over the last few years, my biggest realizations has been that every memory has a feeling attached to it.
When we think about a memory, when we visualize that experience, we FEEL it as well.
So if we look back on a traumatic experience, we feel all of the emotions associated with that experience. We feel and re-live that pain.
But on the contrary, if we visualize a positive memory, a memory that makes us smile in appreciation, we re-live that pleasure.
Our memories become anchors to places in time. They give us the ability to re-live the feelings of our memories at moments notice.
Across many meditation and mindfulness practices it is taught that when we’re in times of crisis we should practice gratitude by thinking about people and moments in our lives that we’re grateful for.
For me, the best way to feel that gratitude is to envision a memory with that person. Envision something that makes me smile. Something that brings up all of those positive feelings.
So when I’m in crisis, when I’m stressed out or anxious, I think about gratitude by pulling on a previous memory that makes me smile.
Thinking about and feeling a past positive memory helps me feel better in the now.
Yes — If I create positive memories right now here in the present moment, when my future self looks back on this period and time in my life, my future self will feel good!
If I can reach back into the past and grab a positive memory that will make me feel better right now, what if I could create positive memories NOW that will help myself in the future!?
The best way that I can ensure future success is to feel great right now. The better I feel right now, the better I will feel when my future self looks back on this period in time.
Not only that, I must CREATE memories. Intentionally live life outside of the forgettable zone. Every positive memory ensures a positive future me.
Then, because I know that I’m helping my future self, I can take solace in the present moment that my future is going to be amazing!
If my future is an extension of my now, and my now is amazing, why shouldn’t my future be amazing as well!?
I feel the way I do right now because of my previous thoughts, feelings, and actions. My past created this present moment. My future will merely be an extension of how I feel right now.
So that means if you’re stressed and anxious right now, when your future self looks back on this time you will feel that same stress and anxiety.
The stress and anxiety doesn’t go away, by putting it off it only awaits your future self.
So all of your stress and anxiety isn’t only hurting you, it’s hurting future you as well.
Thats why you need to try and feel your best right now.
However, If you can’t feel your best right now because of your past, then work on your past . Dive into your past, and work on those memories until you can turn the pain into gratitude (and this could be a long process).
Then once your present moment is filled with gratitude, focus on staying in those feelings so that your future self can reap the benefits. More importantly, do what you can to create positive memories NOW so that when your future self looks back on your current present reality, they have a huge bank account of memories to pull from 🙂
To summarize, what I do in the present right here right now is what will create my future. If I want to feel better now, I can pull from positive memories in my past. Then, by feeling good right now, when my future self looks back on this moment, my future self will be happy too! The more positive memories I create, the more I ensure the best possible future life for myself.
Notice also how this is different from pure hedonism. I’m not saying to avoid pain and feel good all the time. No no no.
Instead in this model we acknowledge that our present is a result of our past actions and feelings. So if we are to go out and get drunk for example, we know that in the future we’re going to feel those effects. We know that we might feel bad when that happens.
This model acknowledges that your present behaviors might create a negative future reality. Although I call this the feel good feedback loop, it can just as easily turn on you and become the negativity feedback loop. Looking back on past events and feeling badly about it can lead to bad actions in the present create a bad future (bad subjectively being any unsatisfactory state of life).
It also embraces the beauty of the here and now. We deal with our past in the now. We make ourselves feel good in the now. We think about the future in the now.
This model embraces the reality that everything we’re dealing with must be dealt with in the present reality, and if it’s not dealt with NOW, it will affect your future reality.
Although seemingly very simple, I believe that the key to all of life’s stresses and challenges is represented in this feedback loop. It’s coincidentally also the symbol for infinity. By living in the past, present, and future simultaneously, by fusing them into one, we gain access to the infinite.
It’s very basic. My past created my present which will create my future.
It’s why I love to get weird. Get outside of my comfort zone. Make crazy videos and do strange things. — THEY MAKE ME FEEL GOOD! THEY CREATE POSITIVE MEMORIES! When I look back on this time in my life, I’m going to crack up with laughter at the stupid shit that I’ve done. I look at it like I’m giving a gift to my future self.
But don’t live vicariously through me. It’s up to you to apply it. It’s up to you to take this into your own hands. If you’ve read this far, I’m already impressed — now you know what you need to do
Get out there and go apply it. Feel your best right now to ensure a beautiful future 🙂
Other articles you will enjoy from me:
The more you control your own life, the less you care about other people and how they live theirsmedium.com
How to pull yourself back to shores of presence when lost at seamedium.com
Because when the storms of life come your way you’ll be clutching onto the boat for dear life.medium.com
Originally published at https://troyerstling.com on May 16, 2019.