How to Reinvent the Future and Stop Reliving the Past

Jan 05, 2018 1 Min Read

Moving On


Conversations that begin: “I remember when,” are about recreating the past. But you can’t create the future while longing for the good ol’ days. The past is the future for leaders who stay the same.

Persistence drives people into the past when it reflects entrenched methods and reverse-engineered goals.

Questions for reinvention:

#1. What will you do differently?

Intentions are a beginning, but new behaviours change outcomes. Stop defining yourself by entrenched methods and comfortable behaviours.

Methods that worked in the past often become moral imperatives. But irrelevance sets in if you don’t change.

Here are three tips for doing differently:

  • Begin with easy, but make sure it’s different. If you want new results, adopt different behaviours.
  • Choose simple. Reject complex. Progress stalls when complexity arrives.
  • Do what you hope to become. Do you aspire to lead? Find ways to lead right now.

#2. What didn’t you do – that resulted in failure?

Imagine you won’t be shouting for joy at the end of 2018. What is something you perhaps didn’t do that

ultimately resulted in failure?

One thing that is sure is that, if 2018 becomes a disappointment, you didn’t get enough help. Who should be part of your journey? The future is about people.

Choose challenging relationships that disrupt strategies and expand possibilities.

Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.

– Anonymous

Five more questions for consideration:

  1. What is your current legacy? What do you wish it was?
  2. What are you doing when you feel most energised and you’re bringing value to others?
  3. What will you let go? (Perhaps this is the most challenging question for 2018.)
  4. How must you develop yourself?
  5. Why does it matter?

With 2018 peeking at us, how might leaders take steps to reinvent the future?


Dan Rockwell is a coach, speaker and is freakishly interested in leadership. He is an author of a world-renowned leadership blog, Leadership Freak. To get in touch with Dan, write to us at

with permission.

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