Daily Inspiration: “One day you’ll look back at today and realize it’s the olden days. That moment will happen sooner than you think!”


“One day you’ll look back at today and realize it’s the olden days. That moment will happen sooner than you think!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

Do you really know how big your future is? Probably not – your reference point for change is in the slow lane, and the world is accelerating while you don’t notice.

Watch this video; it’s from a 2019 keynote for a few thousand people in New Orleans. And now take a look around you – you can see it happening in front of your very eyes. It’s pretty clear that in the olden days, we only farmed when the sun was up, we went to places called stores to get most things, and we fixed people after they were sick. Today? That’s changing fast!

The olden days? It’s today. Right now. At this very moment.

Most of you drive cars and cars that use gasoline and diesel; one day soon, the vast majority will be electric, based on batteries, and over time, they’ll do more of the driving themselves. You’ll simply supervise the process, much as you monitor your kitchen while you are cooking. And it’s going to happen sooner than you think!

Take any industry, and you can see a similar rush of the current time to antiquity. As product lifecycles collapse, the things that companies make are suddenly irrelevant, tired, out of date. Companies think they are selling modern stuff, but are really in the antique business.

The olden days? Many of my keynotes and leadership meetings in dozens of industries and corporate events have involved a good, hard look at serious future trends. It’s a lot of work, takes a lot of research, but is a hugely rewarding ‘job.’ And then, every once in a while, something completely different comes along. So it was with a major US financial company some years back that was holding the 30th anniversary of their key customer meeting. And since they’re in the IT business, they wanted a keynote that looked back in time, rather than looking forward. Something fun, engaging, and which would help folks have a good laugh at the unique experiences baby boomers have been through over the last 30 years! As it turns out, they found me.

The result was a rollicking, hilarious 45-minute keynote based on lots of my material from one of my books from the 1990s: Surviving the Information Age.   Form that event, here’s a great clip where I’m talking about how quickly our world is changing, as things that are a part of our lives have become things from the “olden days” — and it has happened before our very eyes.

Think about how quickly your future is changing! Now go back and read what I was writing about the ‘olden days’ in 2003 when my sons were young children and gave me a gut-check. Read the original post – ‘10 Things from the Olden Days.”

“10 Things My Kids Think Are From the Olden Days” – Early thoughts on the era of instant obsolescence

Here’s another take on the theme – I’m with the senior leadership team of Volvo, and in this case, I’m challenging them to think about how quickly after-sale market values of vehicles collapse when your dashboard is from the olden days – and your car is only a few years old! What’s happening right now? Your 2018 car is already from the olden days when compared to a 2021 model.

It’s not just products that become something from the olden days – your brand can suffer the same fate. In today’s world, brands today can go from hero to zero in a matter of months.

10 years ago, I was on stage for global organizations advising them that the next decade would see them face tremendous challenges as the era of social media, product obsolescence and new competitors hit the essence of their branding soul. I pretty much nailed that one perfectly. Brands start to look tired because they are tired.

The olden days? It’s right now. Are you? Is your mindset stuck in today when it’s already becoming tomorrow?



THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.