#TBT Can Stunt Your Growth

Everyone has that uncle who is stuck in a certain decade. He just can’t let go of Journey and his Trans Am. He still goes bananas when his favorite song is played on the oldies station. He is like a walking time capsule, permanently locked into a time that has long passed.

Nostalgia feels so good. Even I have been accused of being stuck in the 90’s. I have to catch myself from the seductive trap of becoming that uncle. You have to be careful with time. If you don’t pay attention, you will look up and 15 years will have passed while you were immersed in your glorious past.

The inspiration for this post came when I was listening to an interview with Tyler the Creator. He said something that shook me. He said, “You ever notice all the people who are constantly posting about throwback Thursday are not doing anything with their lives?”

That one stung a little bit because I know for a fact I was starting to say things like, “Man I miss those days.” and “They don’t make music like they used to.”

Are you living through throwback Thursday? Are you constantly posting pictures of a time when you were 20 lbs lighter with less responsibility, and you had the whole world in front of you?

An obsession with your past is a clear indication that you are not happy with your present. This fixation is a way to avoid moving forward.

By reveling in the past, you are telling yourself that you are DONE. You have already peaked, your prime has passed, and it’s all downhill form here. You are just waiting around to get in the wooden box and for dirt to be thrown on top of you.

The mind will play tricks on you when it comes to time. It conveniently deletes all of the bad parts of the past. For whatever reason, we create a revised version of the past that looks more like a highlight reel than what actually happened. The good ol’ days weren’t all good. Most of the time they were filled with their own set of challenges (just like the present.)

Instead of reminiscing on that golden age, why not surpass it. One of the reasons I admire Magic Johnson is because he was able to create a career in business that has become larger than his playing career ever was. Most athletes have a hard time transitioning once father time catches up with them. Magic was faced with an abrupt end to his career and could have been consumed with all that he accomplished in the 80’s as a Laker. Instead, he looked forward. Whenever he is interviewed, he will gladly talk about his past but you can tell he is more excited about his current ventures.

Right now you are armed with more experience and knowledge than you had in the past. Things may not seem as good as they were, but in one way or another YOU are better. By waking up today, you have been given the opportunity to create a life that could make your throwback life look pitiful.

If you look at Miles Davis’s career it was in a constant state of progress and change. Miles never looked back and was constantly in search of new sounds and ideas. When called legendary he replied, “A legend is an old man with a cane known for what he used to do. I’m still doing it.”

He was great because he never sat back and admired his past achievements. Miles would have rejected the whole notion of #tbt.

It’s okay to revisit your Cool, Funky Fresh, Dope past every now and then.

Just remember that there is this tremendous opportunity right in front of you known as the present.