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LiNE Zine - Tomorrow’s Too Late

LiNE Zine - Tomorrow’s Too Late

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Published by Jay Cross

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Published by: Jay Cross on Mar 10, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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LiNE Zine - Tomorrows Too Late by Jay Crosshttp://www.linezine.com/7.2/articles/jcttl.htm1 of 63/9/08 1:53 PM
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LiNE Zine - Tomorrows Too Late by Jay Crosshttp://www.linezine.com/7.2/articles/jcttl.htm2 of 63/9/08 1:53 PM
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 “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."Abraham LincolnWe often fool ourselves into thinking that we have a good handle on thefuture impact of current actions. It’s logical, isn’t it?
The voices in our heads continually comfort us by saying that the worldruns on common sense and we are in control. We assume we know thelogical connection between present and future without even thinkingabout it. But when we try to describe the intervening steps, we discoverthat most of the middle ground from now to then is illusory. We don’tinvent the pathway to the future until called upon, much as we make upstories off-the-cuff when recounting fragments of ideas that haven’tquite yet jelled.
This gap helps explain self-destructive behavior: the failure to connectpresent and future. The smoker keeps on puffing, denying that cigarettescause cancer. The business leader keeps doing what worked last quarter,denying that conditions always change.Inevitably, the future catches short-term thinkers by surprise.
LiNE Zine - Tomorrows Too Late by Jay Crosshttp://www.linezine.com/7.2/articles/jcttl.htm3 of 63/9/08 1:53 PM
 “Stuff” happens. It doesn’t need to.
Be prepared
"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, andthat one word is 'to be prepared'." Dan QuayleAs a Boy Scout, I carried waterproof matches, a hunting knife, and aflashlight on hikes so I would Be Prepared. This gave me a sense of security for the day but did nothing to prepare me for life beyond. Ididn’t think about the future much and didn’t do much to prepare for it.Why was I so shortsighted?Beside the fact that I was young, my brain, like yours, evolved when ourancestors were the naked hunters (and the hunted) who survived on thesavannah by living in the moment. In a world of eat-or-be-eaten, “longterm” was not a concept.For me, the future seemed so far away. I had no appreciation of consequences. I didn’t think about what tomorrow would bring. I didn’tknow what to prepare for. These are not valid reasons to put off preparing for the future.Also, the future has changed. Sanitation and health care have tripled thehuman life span, and corporations outlive their founders. Most of us willlive into what we now think of as the long term.
Time isaccelerating,and we’llget thereeven soonerthan weexpect. Thepast wasleisurely.Today thefuture isrushingtoward us.Unnatural asit feels, wemust projectourselvesmonths andyears aheadto startgettingready. Snap judgments

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