It’s easy to look back, to remember what it was like when you were a teenager, wishing somethings never changed. It’s easy to wish and wonder, but it’s much harder to look ahead and see what you must do to prepare, I know it’s harder, because most of us didn’t give the future a second thought when we were 17 – 20 years old. We might have thought, I wonder what I’ll be like when I’m 30, 40 or 50 years old, but that’s about it. I know, because I did it. The numbers are low for those who knew what they wanted to be when they grow up, and the numbers are even lower for those who aren’t in the profession they went to school to learn how to do. So it’s comfortable to look back, to reminisce about what might have been, or what you miss as a fully grown adult years removed from your youth.
One thing I’ve discovered about looking back, it has yet to move me forward, and it has yet to solve anything but bring about a sadness within. So why do we do it? It goes back to our collective human behavior, we love to be comfortable, where everything feels good, and is in its proper place. We say, I remember when…and it takes us back to a warm feeling, and puts a smile on our faces. I’m generalizing, but that’s most of us, some revert to unhappy places, but most of us want to remember happier times.
Looking ahead is much harder work, because we have trouble seeing the world in front of us, what it’s really like, and what it will be like 10, 20,30 years from now. Most of us can’t see next week let alone 30 years down the road. When looking ahead, it gets uncomfortable, and then it begins, the resistance, and the reason why we tend to get ready to get ready and never actually do anything. Because we are addicted to being comfortable, we can’t see, we can’t look ahead because what we fear is the unknown, and that makes us very uncomfortable.
You’ve heard of people being called change agents, they love change, they love making new things happen. The majority don’t like these people, because they set fear into their hearts of the comfortable, because they know something uncomfortable is coming. To embrace change agents, or the future, takes courage, and we all have courage, we tend use it when it’s safe to do so. When looking into the future, we tend to look with the wrong filter, we look for a preferred future over the one we don’t have control over. Control is the root issue. If we can’t control our future’s, we don’t want to think about it, we don’t want to open our eyes.
Building a business that will be a legacy, requires giving up control at some point on the journey. We have to see the world differently to design this business that last 30 years or more. Maybe you’re not building a lifetime long business, but if you are, you need to use the right filter, and see the world differently. The comfort zone we love holds us back, it prevents us from creating, differentiating, and delivering. Embrace the unknown future, and break the comfort zone pattern.
The comfort zone was built by the Industrial Age work and school system, it conditioned us into believing it feels like security, and we are seriously addicted to the feeling of being secure. That security is wrapped in money, which misleads us and takes us off course when our journey’s get difficult. That security immobilizes us, and it’s a dream stealer to.