The early years of a business or idea are often romanticized and looked back on as challenging, yet rewarding times.
We fondly recollect the struggles we faced and the people who were at our side during these crucial moments.
We recount with a slight smile the 16 hour work days and late night conversations over drinks with our partners on how we’re about to change the world.
We muse over all the times things almost blew up but somehow we managed to survive.
These early moments become the “glory days” of our business and the traumas and wins become core memories.
As time goes by, our grandiose dreams might turn into everyday routines.
Ideas evolve, priorities shift and the people we surround ourselves with change.
If we’re fortunate, we’ll stumble into some degree of stability and peace in both our personal and professional lives.
Challenges will always exist but our current ones seem a little easier to tame because we’re much more calculated in our decisions and actions.
Life is far from boring, but still, we find ourselves increasingly bored with its monotony.
We crave more.
Every so often, we like to reconnect with our buddies from “back in the day” and retell some of these old stories.
With each telling the stakes rise and the rewards multiply. Certain stories continue to be retold (and exaggerated) while others fade out of memory.
Years removed, and with a certain degree of survivorship bias, our actual experiences and the stories we tell may begin to diverge.
These subtle revisions to history are usually harmless — they help us tell better tales as well as validate our struggles to others.
Yet, they can also leave us longing for a past that never existed — at least in our present recollection.
There is nothing wrong with romanticizing our past but be careful you are not look at it through a clouded lens.
When looking back at the past, it’s important to remember there will be a difference between what we feel now, versus the actual truth.
When we are able to clearly separate the two it affords us the insight to change our current decisions for the better.
Here are some questions I like to ask myself to help me think clearer.