Photoshopped by Tan Ha / Photo courtesy of & Fast company

The 3 Historians

A History Class with Jay-Z and Mark Twain.

There are three historians who live in your head. They each have a specific way of studying your past experiences and events. The Optimist, Critic, and Cynic tell a unique story of your history.

The Optimist knows that “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.”

This is probably because she listens to Jay-Z’s 100$ Bill or reads Mark Twain’s work at 7:00 AM in a local coffee shop. She declares that you should not relive your past pains. Worrying is the worst way to use your imagination. She says, “navigate with good sound and hope for better ones.”

She knows that the present is where your experiences intersect with the application of your current resources. The present can reoccur but the future may have different syllables and consonants.

She is the believer. She dreams of abundance and uses her creativity to trump any constraints.

Yet, the Optimist cannot stay up all day and cheer you on. She goes to sleep right before noon.

As she snoozes, the Critic gets up. Mr. Critic looks at the past with disbelief and approaches new experiences as problems. That’s okay because he gives you constructive criticism. He defines obstacles.

Be careful, because he thinks history rhymes and repeats. As he analyzes the past, he paralyzes the present and immobilizes the future.

Like the Optimist, the Critic signs off eventually.

This is where things get dark. The Cynic wakes up right when the sun decides to go down. Unlike the Critic, the Cynic does not disbelieve but has no beliefs. Unlike the Optimist, the Cynic sees no history, no roots.

The Cynic cannot see a rhyme or pattern. It cannot deal with a problem or produce a solution. Therefore, a future cannot follow. The Cynic cannot coexist in the same room as the Optimist.

The Cynic won’t hear any sound; the Critic listens to doubts; and the Optimist rhymes with previous experiences so that new verses can happen.

But, just one second. I told you there are three historians.

You are the historian that is awake while the Optimist, Critic, and Cynic quarrel about history. You’re the irrational historian with guts. You have the freedom to accept or deny each advice.

Whomever you listen to, don’t take advice from the one who does not see your past, present, and future. The Cynic will impede your intuition for the possibility of any existence.

Flex your intuition and find a flow, whether it’s a repetition or rhythm. You are the master to your own poem.

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