Just how good were the good old days, really???

We tend to think that competition in every aspect of our lives today is at an unprecedented high. We tend to think that the "good old days" that once were are now gone forever. But very seldom are we able to recall that those good old days were actually the not that good after all. Or at least they weren't that good then!

We tend to magnify the challenges we face today and compare them with the good old days when such challenges did not even exist at all back then. For example, every morning, at the beginning of our day, we have countless emails waiting for us go through. Of course such a problem did not exist 30 years ago. We only had to deal with postal letters then and they would not come in until late morning or noon. So, we call those days the 'good old days' - no email problems. And we conveniently forget other challenges that we had to deal with in 1986 that no longer exist today - the long time it took to have a letter written, typed, posted and received, opened and (finally) read!

As entrepreneurs, we had less competitors in the 'good old days'. Today, not only do we have more competitors - small, medium and large, but also from near and far. Again, we conveniently discount the fact that the market in the 'good old days' was so much smaller than it is today!

Today, we also find it very difficult to survive with our current income amidst the ever-rising inflation in our economy. But our basic necessities are definitely more affordable than before. Maybe back when the US Dollars were still being backed by gold in the pre-1971 days, things were much more affordable than they are today but you get my point, I hope. 

We also find that the general population today has never been as well-informed, educated and tech-savvy as it is today. We can conveniently conclude that competition has never been so tough. But we can just as conveniently conclude that competition is not as bad as it appears to be because of so many other factors that are actually leveling off the competitive landscape. For example, people might be more educated, better-informed, more tech-savvy today but at the same time, they are also more distracted and less focused on their tasks at hand today. Our smart phones bring us many conveniences but they also rob us of our precious time in ways we could not even have imagined back then!

In other words, the situation we face today is definitely not as dire as we are making it out to be. No matter how bad things get, we must not let our good-old-days mentality interferes with our ability to stay calm and stay focused on our tasks at hand, our goals and our raison d'etre. By the way, as demonstrated above, the good old days did not exist. They only exist now - just like how the bad day today will one day become one of the 'good old days' ten years from now. 

Or to put it in another way, whatever challenges we face today, no matter how big they are, we just have to deal with them one at a time, one digestible chunk at a time, NO DIFFERENT from how we did it in the good old days!