Why You Should Leave the Future Alone

Expect the unexpected. There are tons of clichés to this effect, but very few of us act like it applies to us.

This comes to mind on the back of a recent excerpt from Mitch Joel’s new book, “Ctrl Alt Delete.” Joel is the president of Twist Image, self-described as one of the largest independent digital marketing agencies in North America. But even if you’ve never heard of it or him, guess what: The book’s contents apply to every one of us.

It goes into the current business landscape, and more than that, just how unpredictable people’s careers will be. Or, I suppose I should qualify that: ambitious people’s careers.

Here’s an excerpt from the excerpt:

The challenge for you and your career is to not remain stuck in the past and to not get too comfortable with how things are today. Is it time to take chances? Absolutely. Is it time to blow everything up and start over? Maybe for some, but not for many. Is it time to kill even the profitable business units because you know there’s no future there? That’s a very tough call. Regardless of what we--as business owners and employees--are capable of, there are bigger forces at play: technology, connectivity, mobility, analytics, data, creativity, commerce, publishing, and more that will continue to reshape and change how we do business. So, where does this leave you and your career? Do you adapt or die? Maybe it’s more like tweak, iterate, and get comfortable with the squiggle as this purgatory unfolds.

It’s true. And I guarantee you, if you’re feeling stymied, lost or cranky, you might be resisting the squiggle.

But this doesn’t mean you should up and abandon all your plans and change everything. It’s more about getting what they call “soft eyes” in practicing yoga: the ability to look forward and also open up your peripheral awareness. Just be aware of what’s around you, what you’re doing and what ripples it might be creating to telegraph future moves.

I feel like many people are stressing about today and unable to figure out how it fits into the bigger picture. They are stressed. And stress blocks you from recognizing how the pattern might be shifting and instead focuses you on the same things. So, it is very possible you might be missing the changes you can seize, then, by resisting them. But consider the fact that not all changes are permanent, and sometimes the best moves to make are the ones you would never have considered or even expected from yourself.

Check out the full excerpt here — it’s an interesting thought to drop into your mind as you approach this week. 

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