“There ain’t no future in the past.”
That line from a Vince Gill song has it right — especially when it comes to fresh ideas. Creativity lives in today and aims for the future.
Even the guy who wrote The Beatles’ “Yesterday” — arguable the world’s most famous song about embracing the past — eventually disclaimed its sentiments. “I don’t believe in yesterday, by the way,” John Lennon told an interviewer in 1981.
Sure, we can learn from the past. We can also borrow from the past. And we can clearly use past success stories to boost our confidence and build our credibility.
But, to paraphrase Vince Gill, there ain’t no future in wallowing in past mistakes and whining about what could have been.
Here’s the reality: your future starts right now. Your next great idea can begin this moment. Imagine the possibilities.
Steve Jobs knew this better than anyone. “Jobs thought like a consumer standing in the near future, not in the recent past,” wrote Cliff Kuang for Fast Company. “He was a focus group of one, the ideal Apple customer, two years out.”
If you’re clinging to past achievements or dwelling on past mistakes, shift focus to the here and now. Practice mindfulness. Live in the moment.
But also give attention to the future. Because if you understand where your customers are heading, you’ll already be there when they arrive.