Speed, Agility, and Creativity


Today, I’ve got two facets of the same issue to write about. It goes back to a topic I had discussed before.

To be agile, mobile, creative, and fresh we’ve got to stop dwelling on the past and what we know of it – our presuppositions, our histories.

I heard a speaker this last Sunday talk about the speed at which we move today and it’s affect on our “success”-driven psyche. I call it the “ESPN effect.”

ESPN has a channel which repeats its content every thirty minutes throughout the day – kind of like a good traffic report before and during rush hours. The benefit is [that] you, as a sports player, can get highlighted to millions of people throughout the day. The detriment is nobody will remember you tomorrow.

The interesting thing about all this is that many of us have fallen behind the curve. We think that our successes or failures will be remembered forever. But, they won’t be. You’ve got 30 seconds to forget what you just did (good or bad).

What htis means is that we really need to stop being so proud of our successes and feeling so guilty for our failures… you’ve got 30 seconds to do so. Move on. Your future is not decided by your past…. unless you act like your past will be your future. As soon as that happens, you’re heading toward failure.

Identify with Miyamoto Musashi – samurai from 1605. He continuously changed tactics as soon as his opponents assumed he would do the same thing. He would attack swiftly when their strengths were intimidation. he would show up late to duels when it was considered bad form and insulting, just to get into their head. He added or changed his weapons to give him an advantage in speed, agility, defense, or just plain surprise at his choices.

Musashi’s opponents depended on what had allowed them to win their last fight. Musashi, however, changed according to the current fight’s strengths and weaknesses. Not only that, but he turned their rigid tactics into their downfall. His first thought was how to throw them off balance (emotionally, physically, etc) and then he adapted to the outcome of their [leftover] positioning.

So, let go of your last fight, whether you won or lost. Nobody will remember, especially in this day and age… and neither should you.

[tags]business strategy, war, conflict, success, failure, Musashi, ESPN, creativity, GTD, getting things done[/tags]

Nate Ritter lives in the Pacific Northwest (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

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