Last year, the Heartland saw a 100-year flood. And it’s predicted that it could happen again this year.

The cancellation of entire concert tours, the Kentucky Derby, NCAA championships, all professional sports, etc. – they have all been happening for decades and, until this week, no one would have suspected they could all be called off within days of each other.

Just because floods haven’t happened two years in a row doesn’t mean that they can’t occur again this year. Just because Disneyland has never closed or school systems haven’t been shut down for months doesn’t mean they won’t during a pandemic.

People claiming “I’ve never seen anything like it in my lifetime” seem genuinely surprised when something new occurs, as if its absence in the past literally prevents it from happening in the present.

Life is not linear. While the past may provide some clue as to what comes next, we can’t rely on it as an infallible barometer regarding the future. Spend your energy looking ahead based on what could be vs. forecasting your outlook based on what was.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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