“Learn from the past. Live in the present. Plan for the future.”
– Anonymous Special Operations Sniper
What worked last year, or at our last job, may not work here.
Here, today, in this moment, we have a unique set of challenges and opportunities. We are working with a different team. We have a different starting point and different objectives. We have different tools at our disposal. We might even have a different title or role to play.
The human brain looks for patterns, using the past to predict the future. It’s how we survived for thousands of years finding food, water, shelter, warmth when it was cold and cool air when it was hot. But today we live and work in a rapidly changing world.
Taking a product to market looks completely different today than it did just a few years ago. Whole markets now transform in less than a decade. More than ever we now need to approach the present as a unique instance. We can’t simply repeat past actions.
Yes, we must learn from the past. Yes, we must apply universal principles. Yes, we must plan for the future to set a clear course of action. However, more important than looking back or looking forward is being present.
How often do we simply sit still, with no screen, just being in the present moment? How often do we take time to step back and just observe what’s going on in our lives, in our office, in our market, in our own head?
Learning from the past and planning for the future are only useful if that knowledge and vision is put into action. We can only act in the present moment. So let’s be present, right here, right now, to take right action.
Also published on Medium.