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Fast-Forward to the Future

by Ulises Pabon

One of the pernicious side effects of COVID-19 is that it has us stuck in the present. You can’t create the future if you’re stuck in the present. Dealing with the present is overwhelming. The coronavirus continues to deliver challenges and obstacles that need to be addressed and surpassed. Yet, if we dedicate all of our attention to the present, we are leaving the future unattended.

To be clear, I’m not just talking about today and tomorrow. If you’re laying out plans for 2021, you are still thinking about and living in the present. With all the uncertainty and ambiguity in the air, it’s natural to shorten our planning horizons. We feel safer looking at the “immediate future”. We feel lost looking 5 or 10 years ahead. I’m sorry to break the news but, for all practical purposes, 18 to 24 months ahead is the present.

Your worries about the present will pin you to the ground. Like gravity, they will pull you in and squelch your imagination. Don’t ignore those worries. Attend them; delegate resources to work on them; structure responses to address them; but don’t let them hijack the future.

You need to overcome the force of gravity to explore space. Likewise, you need to overcome your worries about the present to think about the future. You need to dare to look further; not to predict, but to imagine and see it.

Dare to fast-forward to the future. Entertain the long view as you look ahead and commit the time and energy required to shape and build it. I wish you a thrilling and fascinating journey.

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