My friend Lynn Casey writes a brilliant blog called the ScoutLook, where she recently reflected on the idea of Future Nostalgia. What an insightful phrase!

First, she ponders the concept of nostalgia, citing Dr. Desikides, a researcher who has made the study of nostalgia his life’s work. According to him, rather than getting lost in self-indulgent reminiscing, nostalgia can actually make life seem more meaningful. It can make people more generous to strangers and literally warm people on cold days. Love that!

Yet, I can’t help but also reflect on the melancholy side of nostalgia. That sense of loss we feel when we wistfully think back to brighter days. The college football player who pines for adulation under the bright lights. Or for the rest of us, perhaps just the simplicity of socializing with friends pre-COVID.

Then, I think about this phrase, “Future Nostalgia.” Have you observed people hanging onto and longing for a future that they already know is lost? Asking, “When can things go back to normal?” they’re yearning for the day we all return to the office and get back to “business as usual.”

But, you know what? I don’t think we’re ever going back. I don’t believe there’s going to be a “usual” at all. So, instead of longing for the future we’ve lost, let’s dream about what the future of work might look like! Let’s understand the digital leapfrogs we’ve made and examine what’s now possible in one year vs. five… in months vs. years!

Let’s not waste energy trying to recreate the future we once looked forward to, but rather, let us consider all the new possibilities now open to us because of all that has transpired this last year!

You can subscribe for Lynn’s brilliant, insight-riddled trend report here. To manage my inbox, I keep subscriptions to a bare minimum – just the ones that inspire and challenge me. Alongside Scott Galloway, New Atlas, Jing Daily and Yanko Design, this is it 🙂

PS Dua Lipa provides a great soundtrack for this 2min read. #futurenostalgia #futureofwork