“What we never seem to realize is that our future selves will look back and think the very same thing about us. At every age we think we’re having the last laugh, and at every age we’re wrong.” -Daniel Gilbert
The end-of-history illusion is a complex psychological postulation in which humans from teenage years through old age believe they have consistently experienced significant personal growth and changes in both likes and dislikes until the present, but will somehow not continue to mature in the future. Despite knowing how much we have changed in the last decade or more, we believe that ten years from now, they will think and feel the same as we do today.
There is a simple explanation for this phenomenon. In the past we are quite easily able to observe who we once were and then assess the changes we have made. Change that has already happened is personal history. Predicting or anticipating change in the future is much more difficult. Life will enfold in ways we cannot presently conceive and therefore we find it difficult to predict the processes of growth and change we will experience.
However, now that we know about the End of History Illusion; one might think we would at the very least alter conscious projections about our own future and anticipate the seemingly inevitable potential for change and personal growth. Now that you are aware of this illusion, you certainly will change your attitude towards your own future, won't you?
Which leads us to the question: What changes will you make in your life and how will those changes reflect in the person you will be in 2014?