That’s a recent idea. To imagine the world in twenty, fifty or a hundred years. Later than later. To consider the long-term impact of our actions. History as a concept is recent and thinking about the future is even more recent.
Of course, future generations will be mature enough to think even further ahead. Either that or there won’t be future generations…
Many of the long-term forecasts we’re seeing today aren’t particularly rosy. But at least we’re having them, now, when we still have a chance to do something.
And yet, some of the long-term forecasts are rosier than we can even imagine. The leaps forward in medicine, energy production and AI are transforming our world even as we live in it.
When you’re just a little kid, the idea of thinking about “when I grow up” is mostly an ill-formed fantasy. And of course, a teenager simply lives for today, and perhaps the weekend.
Once you’ve made the choice to be a productive artist, though, someone who seeks to make an impact over time, time is either your friend or your opponent. Time is either something you use as a tool or something that works against you.
Part of the appeal of the Focus journal that I did with Moo is that it gives you leverage in your work to shift time. It doesn’t automatically give us long-term thinking, but it plants a seed, a seed that helps us realize that we’re on a journey, not simply at an event.
You currently work with people who will be productively working a hundred years from now. In fact, you might be one of those people. When I started posting these notes in 1992, I had no idea I’d be doing it 26 years later. And now I’m hoping that perhaps I’ll be doing it for at least another quarter century.
Drip, drip, drip.
Time doesn’t fly, not if you refuse to let it. But it does keep moving.
PS Ignore Sunk Costs, the latest episode of my podcast Akimbo, is out now.