A common past/present/future dilemma in the professional space is what I learned from yesterday, which job is available today, and what to learn for tomorrow. It gets more complicated as career and family building kicks in, and even more stressful as a person’s age. If you can imagine Past, Present, and Future as building blocks stacked on top of each other, Future bottom, Present in the middle, and Past on top, and the height of each set equals the years of experience, things get interesting.
If you have been in the industry for a long time, the long years of experience make the Past blocks taller and heavier and put more weight on Present and Future underneath. The set of Future blocks tend to be less in quantity, and the set of blocks that stand or break the stack would be the Present set of blocks. Hence, things get fragile….
The converse when you are in young in the field, your set of Past building blocks are much less in size than the future ones; your Present blocks have a tougher situation. The first set of Past blocks would not have enough pressure over the Present blocks, and the Future blocks are numerous, and, subsequently, harder to pressure.
Either way, the Present blocks are in a sensitive situation – pressure or not pressure from Past blocks, and break or make the Future blocks. Furthermore, the middle set of blocks constantly form some kind of balance between Past and Future unless some external force or King Kong tumbles the whole stack apart.
So what do you do if you want to an instructive Past, a less fragile Present, and a healthy stack towards the Future?
I don’t think I have the right answer, but I have a personal one instead. We can’t change the number of blocks that we stack as our experience throughout our lives from past, present, and future, but we can influence its quality. Think of playing constructive-building Minecraft rather than destructive-style Fortnite. Which type of blocks do you want to build – gold, steel, wood, shiny, cracked? How do you want them stacked? Horizontally, vertically, or both? Do you want to build a castle or a fort or a pyramid? Do you want something that is a work of art or science or a hybrid? Do you want to spend a lot of time making every block perfect or have fun stacking things? The ideas can go on and on… Last, play Minecraft as your career building strategy. Stop wasting time destroying things as in Fornite.