When you go back, you notice things. Habits you never thought about, you think about.
You go back to that place you used to work, meet an old colleague, talk about work. Your brain snaps right into the old habits. The reflex of hitting those quarterly goals and buying into the company strategy. The fear-response of old politics. The habits are still there. But now you see them, can reflect on them. You have what you didn’t have when you were there: perspective.
You go back to the home where you grew up, visit your parents for a few days. You fall back into the same arguments, reenact the same behaviors. But you’re not that sullen teen any more — you’ve got a job and a spouse. They give you perspective. Maybe you can see those habits for what they are. Maybe you can change the pattern.
You always voted for the same party. Every political season, you listened to the candidates and picked the ones that matched your party’s values, because those were your values. Now it’s a new season. But the old voting habits don’t work any more. The candidates have drifted. The party has shifted. Maybe you have shifted. Time for a little perspective. You’re going to have think a little harder this time.
What are you doing right now — at your job, in your home, in your life. When you come back in ten years, which of those habits — the things you do without thinking — will come roaring back? When you get some perspective, what will you have grown out of?
Why waste time? Why not apply that perspective now?