Problem: As we get busier and more distracted, we lose more long-term memory, capacity for recall, and even collective memory.
This is because, in order to increase our pace to keep up with change, we are constantly practicing and reinforcing quick intuitive and instinctive thinking, while avoiding deliberation. Deliberation is slow and takes effort, but is usually more effective and reliable. We reduce our use of long-term memory and therefore lose the ability to access it easily and regularly.
Unfortunately, the stresses of life can be cumulative as well as collective. So society as a whole, complete with our culture, economy and governing bodies, can forget past problems and their solutions. We lose memory of the long-term trends and cycles, which is important since that historical context is the foundation of meanings. No context — no meaning. No good!
Solution: Intentionally set aside more time daily to recall your life experiences and try to draw new lessons from them to explain what is happening today. Share those memories and reflections with others. Look for bigger patterns that have shaped your life and figure out how you can use them to manage some strategic planning – family, education, career, business, community …
We all need to find a better balance and step out of the short-loop mindset to add meaningful context. We used to call this “wisdom“.
Use your long-term memory or lose it.