There’s a joy that comes with hindsight. So much so, a popular phrase encapsulates it.
Hindsight lets us recognise all sorts of concepts, beliefs, opportunities, and connections that are Now Obvious.
When we use hindsight and think of what’s Now Obvious, we probably go back years or even decades: how naive we were as teenagers; or remembering the mistakes we made in the early stages of our careers.
But we probably miss what’s closer. It’s hard to notice what just happened because the step changes seem too small, and the day-to-day of our lives whizzes past in a blur.
It’s a bit like when someone comments on a child they haven’t seen for a while:
“I can’t believe how much you’ve grown!”
The parents look confused or even bashful. They’re so close they can’t see the changes.
It’s the opposite of recency bias: filtering out the recent because we can’t see it clearly enough.
What’s Now Obvious isn’t just the learnings from 10 years or 10 months ago. There’s also the stuff from last week, or last night. Or what just happened.
These are the things we’ll likely skim past or miss completely, only to pick them back up months or years later – if at all.
They’re the small hunches; the nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right; the third time we run into a blocker in quick succession; and the sense of a flow state emerging… even if only for a few seconds.
Hindsight helps us Go Back to Go Forward. And we don’t need to go that far back to go surprisingly far forward.
It’s worth keeping tabs on what’s Now Obvious.
So much so, I’m tagging it in my archives.