“Don’t define your success by what you did before. Redefine it by what you will do next!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Resting on your laurels. Basking in past glories. Reliving past victories. We can get caught in the trap of living our lives in the loop of past success rather than defining new ones – and yet, In the context of fast-moving change, yesterday’s success is often meaningless. It’s what you do next that really matters!
When you become too reliant on what has worked for you in the past, you’ll immediately stop doing what you need to do to prepare for what comes next. That’s a certainty in business as well as in everyday life. You can’t look back at past success as being everything you need to achieve tomorrow’s victories – you’ve got to win new ones. The decisions that you made that helped you get through with aplomb yesterday might not be the same decisions you must make tomorrow – make different ones. The path you followed to maximize your potential in the last few years might not be sufficient for the next road you need to follow – forge a new direction!
History has taught us that every single organization that has relied too much on yesterday, instead of placing sufficient focus on tomorrow, has ultimately failed. Kodak, Blockbuster, Sears, Research in Motion/Blackberry – it’s an ad-nauseam list of past sameness. Individuals often do the same thing – when confronted by change, setbacks and complications, we’ll often wonder why we can’t just use our past successful efforts to get through those challenges. Yet, the very thing is this: new challenges are always uniquely different, and ultimately equire an entirely different approach.
You are your own worst Kodak at times, aren’t you? Busy running a Sears department store inside your mind while Amazon is running all around you….creating your next Blackberry while the world has moved onto the iPhone.
Each and every day, early in the morning, we face a choice – are we going to focus on what we might achieve for a better tomorrow, or are we going to spend our time trying to recreate what worked for us in the past? We can continue to try to do what we did yesterday hoping it will work again – or, we can focus on tomorrow, with all the new ideas to be explored, and the disruptive opportunities that can be pursued.
That’s why we should try and spend more time looking forward to where we are going, rather than looking back to where we’ve been. Because one thing is for certain – the future is where things are going to happen!