Since the Renaissance, every generation has people who run with the baton and pass it on to the next generation, and hopefully nobody to drop the baton.
To drop the baton
No matter how fast the runner was in the last generation, once he drops the baton once, there is no catching up for the next generation.
They will lose hard no matter how fast everyone else was before or will be thereafter.
We are all complaining (me too) about unfavorable circumstances, but nothing should make us drop the baton.
There is simply nobody great enough to come afterward to make up for it.
These are a few common ways of dropping it:
- The Esau-Effect: Giving up something really important for convenience
- Solving the wrong problems
- Mistaking confidence for something else than a physical state
- Not coming up with the energy and motivation it takes to stick it through
- Hanging around people who are overly critical of you.
- Crying about deals that went wrong.
- Having unfair expectations.
- Not getting out of bad situations.
- Succumbing to unfortunate outcomes.
- Practicing unfairness.
And these are a few ways not to drop it:
It is easy to do the opposite, to find places where you get the benefit of the doubt, because “people like us do things like this.”
Some of us have created enormous leverage and momentum by sticking it through. We learned the hard parts, like complicated math – calculus – and we are much much smarter than anyone from the ancient world could ever be. We know Maxwell’s equations of software. We have spent years hanging around people with fruitful results and we gained their trust. This is something that we can now leverage to make larger steps ahead.
We explore different perspectives. Outlook is worth a lot when you can stand on the shoulders of giants. We must become pilots in the landscape of ideas, not ants.