Move Over Historian

“That’s the way it’s always been done.”

Have you ever experienced a work situation where the people who were there the longest were the worst employees? I certainly have, and God forbid, those same employees be seen as irreplaceable, or worse yet, be very popular. There is nothing more spirit-numbing than to be in an environment where change is needed and unproductive people cannot be shown the door.

If you are relating to what I am saying, I am guessing your mind went right to a toxic person from your past or current work setting who muddies the waters for everyone else. I recently had a conversation with a department head of a college who had such an employee whom she was stuck with until one afternoon while walking out of the building, this employee thought it would be funny to kick another employee in the butt.

It took something so obvious and blatant for the change to occur that many had been holding their breath about for years. Sometimes a kick in the butt is a gift.

Is this familiar at all to you? That situation where new possibilities are on the horizon but the old guard will not let go of the way things have always been done. A complete changing of the guard isn’t always necessary especially when those clinging to the past can somehow make room for the future.

Yesterday I wrote about two opposing voices, the Inner Gremlin and the Inner Champion. Similar to the work environments described above, we may be giving too much mental space to our personal “Historian” when we need to make room for a “Futurist”. We may be allowing what lies behind us to dominate our thoughts and spending precious little time considering what lies ahead of us.

The things we consistently think about are the things we attract into our lives. 


Studies estimate that most people think about the same 10 things over and over again. In fact, it is estimated that without conscious effort to interrupt our thoughts, 90% of what we think today will match what we thought yesterday.

The Historian is the default. It is the automatic setting, and he may not like it but we still get to choose our thoughts. Tomorrow, I will share some ideas about how to give more room to the Futurist and spend less time dwelling on the past and more time engaging in “Possibility Thinking”.

So, tell the Historian in you that company is coming.


Rick Burris


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