How often do we forge ahead without looking sideways, or even in our rear-view mirror? When was the last time you asked a parent or someone who’s been around longer than you, what lessons had they learned?
So often we think that every thought, idea, concept, or even song is original, never been thought of before. Sorry to disappoint, but there isn’t much new under the stars. However, repackaging and rethinking previous thoughts and ideas can breathe a whole new fresh life to them.
Example: Movies. Think about how many movies are remakes, parts 2, 3 (or more), or based on a similar concept? Top movies this summer, 2011, include Harry Potter 8, Transformers 3, Hangover 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Did you see any of these? Were you entranced? Sure, and these are build-ons to previous ones in the series.
I talked to my Mom about some of her memories. She talked about the end of WWII and how she had no idea what happened – people were cheering in the streets, but she hadn’t turned on her radio to learn the news. Can you imagine that happening today? How could anyone miss it today?
But the key isn’t just asking – it’s what do I do about it – what did I learn from it? To benchmark and not use any best practice ideas is silly. If you want to learn from the best, or learn from the past, use it, build on it, take it further. Only in this way will the future be better and brighter.