NOSTALGIA FOR THE FUTURE
For many of us, the happiest future is one that's precisely like the past, except a little better.
We all enjoy nostalgia (the real kind, nostalgia for the past). We gladly suffer from that bittersweet feeling we get about events that we loved, but can't relive. Nostalgia for the way we felt that day in high school, or for the bonhomie of a great team, or for a particular family event.
We'd love to do it again, but we can't.
Nostalgia for the future is that very same feeling about things that haven't happened yet. We are prepared for them to happen, but if something comes along to change our future, those things won't happen and we'll be disappointed.
If your company lays you off, you may very well get another job, but it won't be the job that one day was going to get you the promotion you were imagining that led to the event that you were hoping for in that office you were visualizing.
We're good at visualizing this future, and if we think it's not going to happen, we get nostalgic for it. This isn't positive visualization, it's attachment of the worst sort. We're attached to an outcome, often one we can't control.
If you had a chance to remake your life with a wish, what would you wish for? Would you leave behind your family, your town, your appearance? Most people would merely change the fabric on their sofa or make their job a little better (and their salary will go up).
Some people, though, have an itch for a different future, one with radically different rules. Those people are emotionally connected to the sort of drive and visionary leadership that organizations look for in a linchpin. It's not a skill or even a talent. It's a choice.
The linchpin is able to invent a future, fall in love with it, live in it - and then abandon it on a moment's notice.
(Taken out of Seth Godin's book LINCHPIN, pg. 203-204)