Dancing With Ghosts

Of Meanderings Down Memory Lane

Abhishek Kothari
5 min readApr 8, 2018


Alex on Unsplash.com

I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there-Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

They say the past is history. But, what if we live in it incessantly? It may not be too much of a problem if we search for happy moments in the past to bring our minds back to a peaceful place. However, if we choose to focus on mistakes, unwarranted comparisons with others and everything that we should have done differently, it may turn out to be our undoing.

Businesses that focus on their zenith all the time become obsolete. Kodak stuck with an outdated strategy while digital cameras took over the world. Most recently, Microsoft pivoted from being an operating system (Windows) focused company to a cloud focused company. The person responsible for the turnaround Satya Nadella became its CEO.

In many cases, tradition and heritage convey reputation and inspire trust. Companies such as Unilever which have a rich heritage can leverage their past to signal reliability. Modern brands such as Apple promise a much better user experience backed up by consistent past performance.

Today, the past is measured in milliseconds. Algorithms trade in high frequency cycles based on minuscule price fluctuations. As Einstein would say, the past is therefore relative just like anything else.

This article delves deeper into the advantages and pitfalls of living in the past for both businesses and individuals. As they say, history repeats itself. But, if we chose to live in the past, we may successfully create stasis. The wiser option is to keep dancing and repeat the same steps as the music demands.

The Grown Up Child

Sigmund Freud viewed adults as a product of their childhood. A lot of decisions that mature adults took were an outcome of past upbringing. To Freud, humans were like onions. Their dreams a product of unconscious layers of the brain hidden from the world by the pre conscious and conscious mind. Their present behavior rooted in the past.



Abhishek Kothari

Futurist@The Intersection of Finance, Tech & Humanity. Stories of a Global Language: “Money”. Contributor @ Startup Grind, HackerNoon, HBR