I was reminded yesterday of some work that we did with an important client more than 15 years ago, which got me reminiscing about the overall journey that we have been on as a business for the past 20 years or so.
History is a funny thing; as it fades mentally into the past, it feels like the stories that make it whole become softer and friendlier. Without the stresses of worrying about 'where this is going to go' in the present moment, old stories magically transform into valuable lessons of growth, rather than the narratives of uncertainty that they once felt like.
I wasn't happy simply thinking about my own 'story till now' in my mind, so I wrote it down.
After writing all of the experiences and achievements and lessons from the past - I took a step back to see the whole story - the big picture - from a distance.
What I found astounding, in doing this simple exercise, is seeing and recognising just how much I personally have grown and gained since 2002.
The ventures started, the people I've been lucky enough to meet, the things that I've learnt. The gain has been incredible.
Seeing the patterns
When you stop to spend some time reflecting on your story till now, you also start to spot the patterns.
Themes that repeat themselves, strong attractors that keep pulling you back again and again. In many ways you can see your future self unfolding and evolving through your own story.
As a futures thinking tool - documenting your 'story till now' is a valuable exercise in long-term pattern recognition that has every chance of repeating itself again and again until something changes to break the cycle.
Give it a go for yourself. Don't just mentally recall parts of your past - write it done in a story. Stretch your memory, find things that you might have forgotten.
See the patterns, remember your journey, get to know yourself a bit more.