How You’ll Change in the Next Ten Years



Imagine it’s January of 2003. Where were you and more importantly, who were you? How have you changed in these past ten years?

I was graduating from journalism school at the University of Georgia. Unsure of what I wanted to be when I “grew up” but knowing for sure that I couldn’t wait to start my new life in Washington, DC. 

I loved designer jeans and bags, reality television, and trendy bars. Times have changed. I’m married, rather bohemian in style, and in love with my husband, cocker spaniels, and public radio. 

Who You'll Become

My tastes have undoubtedly changed but when I look to the future I can’t imagine that I’ll evolve much more. This isn’t uncommon, according to researchers at Harvard University. You know you’ve changed in the past and that you’re a completely different person than you were ten years ago. But when it comes to the future, you can’t imagine much alteration, according to NPR.

We all think we’ve developed to a point, but now we’re pretty much done. Researchers asked 20,000 people to fill out a survey about their preferences and core values. Some participants were asked how they had changed in the past 10 years and some were asked to predict how they thought they would change in the next 10 years. 

NPR reports :

Then the scientists crunched the data. "We're able to determine whether, for example, 40-year-olds looking backwards remember changing more than 30-year-olds looking forwards predict that they will change," [Daniel Gilbert, a psychology researcher at Harvard University] explains.

"They found that people underestimated how much they will change in the future. People just didn't recognize how much their seemingly essential selves would shift and grow,” he continues. 

Take an aerial view of your life, how much have you changed in the past ten years and how much do you expect to change in the next ten years?


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Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.









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