Your Past Is A Poor Predictor of Your Future

Popular wisdom says that the past is an excellent predictor of the future.  Your investment adviser would back that up as well. Is that always true?  What if your past is a terrible predictor of your future?

When it comes to our past,  we can, and should, learn from what happened to us in the past to help educate ourselves on what may or may not work in the future.  You can take that process too far and use that as a ceiling to what’s possible or a crutch for complacency.

Past Success: 

Have you ever had wild success in the past?  I have and I bet you have too.  Just as fast as that success comes that success can go.  Ask Blackberry.  Rely too heavily on past success and you miss things or become complacent.

Past Failure: 

Ever failed in the past?   Yep I have done that too.  The reality is that just because you failed in the past has no relevance for what you are capable of accomplishing today or in the future.

How This Affects Building Your Vision: 

When I work with a client and we talk about their vision.  80% of the time, they play small with their long-term vision and give some incrementally better result for the future.  The reason they do this is based on their past and the limitations they put on themselves based on that past.  I bet you’ve done that too.  I know I have.

When you build out your vision, think about what the ideal scenario for your business and how you are working in the business looks like.  Don’t worry if you’ve never done it before.  That’s why it’s called vision.  It’s where you want to go not where you have already been. Jason Fried of 37 Signals recognized the fact that past success does not equal future success when he decided to make big changes in his company despite their success.  That’s vision.

How have you limited your future by using the past as a judge?


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