We cannot change our emotions. The perspective of those around us affects our perspective even if we try to resist their influence. We are conditioned by our circumstances whether we like it or not. In any given moment we are in a certain state and we can’t do much about it.
If we can’t decide our state at the time we make a decision, isn’t free will overrated?
A lot of people I think stay in the moment, making decisions with only their present state in mind. Many decide by projecting their present self into future circumstances. Many envision a future self without considering how future circumstances will affect it.
Real conscious decision making, I think, is best exemplified by anticipating how future circumstances will affect our future selves and how that state will influence further decision making.
Through this way of thinking one tries to influence the future circumstances first.
A Loud person thinks:
In the future, I will go to the gym and lose weight. I feel right now like I’ll be able to feel like going to the gym when it’s time to actually go.
A Subtle person thinks:
I will spend more time with my fitness-oriented friends. Their regular company will establish exercise as a norm in my social perspective. Therefore, I will end up working out more frequently.
Driving ourselves consciously in a meaningful way seems to be an exercise in anticipation.
Like driving a heavy vehicle on an icy road or going downhill on a massive sled, we must anticipate where we want to be and at what speed. It’s already too late to stop or make a turn where you’re at. It takes considerable time for our momentum to shift, considerable skill not to under or over-compensate. We have to take into account how raging winter winds will affect our course.
We might steer today and not be headed decisively in the right direction until a month or longer is past.
When turning the wheel, there at first seems to be no response. The motion of turning becomes barely perceptible and then the rate of change rapidly accelerates.