Old and not jaded

As you age, you become a skeptic. Everything feels like re-runs of the past where something or the other has gone wrong; déjà vu. You are steeped in confirmation bias; you would have had enough time to search for evidence that confirms your priors; you become inflexible. Life would have punched you hard many times over.

It is natural.

Being a skeptic is good; being a cynic is not.

Questioning ideas is good; rejecting every idea as bad is not.

Being wary of the shiny new thing is good; romanticizing the past and yearning for it is not.

Pattern matching experiences, identifying problems, and coming up with solutions is good; complaining is not.

Besides trying to maintain a child-like curiosity as you age, a perspective that helps you objectively evaluate is to ask—what has changed since the last time I saw this happen and fail?

Many present-day successes are failed ideas from the past in a different context. If you take tech, for example, today’s equivalents to dot com busts like pets.com, Webvan, etc., are thriving. Technological advances in the past twenty years have made this possible—ubiquitous mobile devices, a rich application ecosystem, and blazingly fast internet, which were absent at the beginning of the 21st century.

It is tough to see this without deliberately trying to adopt this perspective.


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Photo by Pixabay.

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