As humans I think we like things to progress, as in we like to do something, master it, and then move on. Be it work issues, class courses, or video game levels; we struggle at first, figure it out and then move to the next challenge. The questions are answered, the standard is realized, and the procedure is set. New horizons await, never look back.
This is legacy thinking. It resides in the statement “That’s how we’ve always done it.”
Sometimes, however, life doesn’t work so linear. Technology advances. Rules change. People and thought evolve. Situations alter.
It’s not to say that the way it has always been done is bad. A problem arose one day. The smart people of that time, possibly you, analyzed the situation, studied the options, maybe even divined genius methods to overcome it, and it worked great. But then the day comes that someone new or younger asks, “Why do we do it like that? You know, we can blah, blah, blah with the new wiizit thingees.”
Do you say: “No. We do it this way. We’ve been doing it this way since before you started here (or were born). It works fine. You should have seen it when I started, this is way better. Just do it like you’re told.”?
Or do you listen?
I find sometimes I’m attached to the ideas of the past. Especially when they were my ideas. Sometimes I’m more interested in protecting my amazing past and want to focus on what I think are then new puzzles needed to unravel and never realize that the amazing solution yesterday has become the daunting puzzle today. Can we say obsolete?
The way we’ve always done it, is not true. It started sometime in the past and before that, it was done some other way; it’s just the way we’re doing it now. And it may’ve been the best way back then, but it may not be the best way now. Or the right way. Or the only way. Or the smartest way.
Legacy thinking can be a stumbling block to moving forward in other areas. Let it go. Don’t be afraid to develop and adopt new ideas about old things. Who knows, you might find you’re just as brilliant now as you were back then.