When I was growing up as a child in the 1960s, I thought about the upcoming turn of the century – 2000 seemed so impossibly far away. But here we are, ten years AFTER entering this new millennium, and it’s disappeared so quickly!
Ten years I was employed in Hewlett-Packard, just beginning to discover this new emerging field called coaching. I was managing a team that was embroiled in the whole Y2K issue, worried that all our hard preparation might not have been enough to ward off customer problems on January 1st. As it turns out, things went remarkably well.
On New Year’s Eve 1999, we were captivated by all the celebrations taking place around the world. We had CNN on TV nonstop for the entire day, and every hour was a new joy. In the midst of industry growth and optimism – before the “high tech bubble” popped – all we had to look forward to was opportunity and excitement.
The industry downturn, and then 9/11/2001, changed our lives deeply: materially, mentally, spiritually. We have a much different view of the world and our government now. Other, more personal, events have become a part of my life and have sent me off on new journeys of discovery.
But it’s unbelievable to me that this decade has disappeared like a flash. I still clearly recall the experience of “partying like it’s 1999.” Is the next decade going to go even faster?
The last decade has indeed seemed to fly by at an ever-accelerating pace. It’s odd how what we think we’ll do or have done in a given time period and what actually happens can diverge so widely (and not necessarily in a bad way). When I was in school during the 80’s and 90’s, every textbook and teacher liked to project just what would happen or be accomplished by the year 2000. Little to none of it actually happened!
Perhaps a silver-lining to our perception of time “flying by” would be that we become more and more selective of just how we spend our time. We become more action-oriented, take risks that allow us to grow and, as a result, help the world grow in new ways too. And the best part is that we do all of this practically subconsciously…no New Year’s resolution required : )
It’s been generally observed that, in the short term, we tend to over-estimate the rate of change. In the long term, we tend to under-estimate.
But hey, if it was easy to foretell the future, this would be a much different world!