The Two Types of Hunger

There are two very different types of hunger. The first type is the hunger you feel when you want or need something now, like food, water, shelter, a new smart phone, an 85-inch television, or a Bugatti. This hunger is impetuous and feels urgent, even though much of the hunger is anything but urgent (no one ever died from a lack of Bugatti). This part of your hunger is insatiable and, except for food and water and shelter, feeding this hunger only increases your appetite.

The second type of hunger is the hunger for what you really want. It isn’t a hunger for the things you want now, but it is instead a hunger for the things you want later, the person you will become. This hunger is “be more, do more, have more, and contribute more,” not just “have more.” It’s a different type of hunger altogether.

Feeding the first type of hunger, let’s call it “Present You Hunger,” often means starving what we might call “Future You Hunger.”

Feeding Present You

The time and energy and money you invest in acquiring the things you want now deprive you of using those same resources in the future, time especially, it being your single, finite, non-renewable resource.

What’s challenging here is the way we perceive time. We feel a sense of urgency around the things we want now without feeling a similar urgency about what we want in the future.

Feeding Future You First

There is an age-old desire to make sure you feed Future You. It requires self-discipline, willpower, or what I call “Me Management,” but it is an easier shift than most people believe. The simple hack that ensures you become more, do more, have more, and contribute more is to feed future you first (very much like eating a healthy meal to crowd out the desire for something less healthy).

  • What do you need to do now to become who you want to be in the future?
  • What do you need to do now to have what you want in the future?
  • What do you need to do now to contribute more later?

Not Deprivation

There is a balance here. Present You Hunger doesn’t need to be eliminated completely. It just needs to be kept in check. It’s important that you be future-oriented while also living in the present. Dealing with “Future You Hunger” first allows you to live in the present without risking Future You.

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