If you’re trying to persuade someone to make an investment, buy some insurance or support a new plan, please consider that human beings are terrible at buying these things.
What we’re good at is ‘now.’
When we buy a stake in the future, what we’re actually buying is how it makes us feel today.
We move up all the imagined benefits and costs of something in the future and experience them now.That’s why it’s hard to stick to a diet (because celery tastes bad today, and we can’t easily experience feeling healthy in ten years). That’s why we make such dumb financial decisions (because it’s so tempting to believe magical stories about tomorrow).
If you want people to be smarter or more active or more generous about their future, you’ll need to figure out how to make the transaction about how it feels right now.