Looking forward

Boardwalk Empire's Nucky Thompson once said, "it's important to always have something to look forward to". It's no wonder; after all, our lives are made of expectation. Some of us crave weekends and holidays. Others crave getting to work and making a difference. We look forward to hearing from people. We dream of the future. We constantly demand trends to know who should we be next.

At the same time, we focus on carpe diem. Seize the moment. Enjoy the simplest things in life. Learn something everyday. Live fast, die young. Or something like that.

Thinking about what's next and thinking about what's happening now, however, fall into extremes. We are terrible at multitasking — some say we simply can't do it —, so just thinking about tomorrow will make us forget about everything else. And focusing on today will make us blind regarding what's coming right up or what just happened. Today and tomorrow are extremes because they are understood as static concepts that make us forget the journey between them.

Life is made of plans. It's how we work. That's why we craft campaigns, schedule family trips, develop various versions of a design, use recipes for cooking and create specific stories to justify our new ideas. The end result is important, but focusing on how to get there and why we should get there creates the necessary buildup to explain why it matters.

In a world of attention deficit, the creator's job isn't to blurt some new idea which people may or may not accept or understand. We don't need more tools. We don't need more content. We don't need more platforms. We don't need more shocking campaigns. We don't need more websites. We don't need more people to follow.

But we all need something worth looking forward to. Perception and expectation walk hand in hand in a world mostly ruled by emotional beings (hint: that's every single one of us!). So focusing on what else is new might not be the best approach at all; innovation for the sake of innovation rarely resonates. But explaining why your idea is worth looking forward to could get you much better results.

That's a shift in focus we should look forward to work our asses off to start building.