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<title>Nobody knows the future - and it doesn't matter! </title>
<p>
<strong>Nobody knows the future.</strong>
</p><p>
<strong>That's a hard but crucial lesson to learn.</strong>
</p><p>
If even ultimate insiders like Greenspan, Bernanke, and Paulson don't know the future, then neither does Jim Cramer, your stockbroker, Nostradamus, nor you.
</p><p>
We have a human need for certainty that desperately <strong>yearns to believe that someone can turn our future from unknown to known</strong>.
</p><p>
<strong>Even if we logically understand that it's impossible</strong>, we're emotionally sucked back in and fooled again when someone important tells us with such conviction what the future will hold.
</p><p>
But nobody knows the future.
</p><p>
Some people predict so many things, so when the random future lands on their number they can say, “See! I told you!” But how many times did they say so, and it didn't come true? (Like the joke, “He correctly predicted 12 of the last 3 recessions.”)
</p><p>
Our pleasure-seeking brains remember the times in our past when we were right, and forget when we were wrong. So it's easy to think we're smarter than we are.
</p><p>
Every time I speak on a panel, the moderator has to ask, “<strong>What's the future of the music business?</strong>”
</p><p>
My first thought is always, “<strong>Nobody knows. Anyone who pretends to know is not to be trusted.</strong>” (And, even the ultimate insiders, the heads of every major record label, got it wrong.)
</p><p>
But then my thoughts turn to whoever is asking the question.
</p><p>
Why should it matter what anyone says?
</p><p>
Realistically, <strong>what would you change about what you're doing, day-to-day?</strong>
</p><p>
<strong>And so it comes back to fundamentals.</strong>
</p><p>
Just like we know there will be gravity, and water will still be wet, there are laws that don't depend on predicting the future.
</p>
<dl>
<dt><strong>You know that people love a memorable melody.</strong></dt>
<dd>You can't know what instrumentation or production-values will be in vogue.</dd>
<dt><strong>You know that people prefer people who make an emotional connection with them.</strong></dt>
<dd>You can't know what technology will carry that communication.</dd>
<dt><strong>You know that writing lots of songs increases your chances of writing a hit.</strong></dt>
<dd>You can't know which song will be a hit.</dd>
</dl>
<p>
So the best thing to do instead of predicting the future is to <strong>focus on the fundamentals that never fluctuate</strong>.
</p><p>
If you're a songwriter, write at least a song a week, always aiming for a memorable melody and words that make an emotional connection.
</p><p>
If you're a performer, make weekly improvements on your ability to captivate an audience, and make a goal of really connecting with 10 new people every week.
</p><p>
<strong>The details are unique to you, and will change constantly. But the real point will never change.</strong>
</p>
<img src="http://sivers.org/images/fortuneteller.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="" />
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