Spectacular Speculation?

Fix not thy heart on that which is transitory. - Henry David Thoreau

For quite a long time now I have read and listened to podcasts and articles dedicated to speculation. Speculation about upcoming products, who will win the browser war, the OS war, political races, what will happen in the next episode of a TV series (Doctor Who is the only one I’ve ever speculated about), and on and on. Speculation galore.

The speculation is important, perhaps, at least for people who work in those specific industries. I tend to think, though, that it’s all a waste of time—nothing but a huge distraction. The successful ignore the distractions and work smart.

Yes, this is an oversimplification and perhaps even speculation, but I can’t help thinking that we’d all be a bit better off if we spent less time worrying about that which is transitory. Does it really matter that much? Probably not.

I challenge you to spend a little less time on the transitory and more time on the truly meaningful: on your family, friends, and the world around you. You’ll be happier and less stressed.

Time, Life, Time Wasters, Doctor Who


  1. Adam Findley

    I guess I just like to be contrary. I think speculation in the tech sector is actually a really great thing. I often feel like the things that are speculated about happen in one way or another. I think the speculation + the news helps to prepare your mind for the new technology and ideas that are coming forth. That being said, I don’t think it’s worth nearly as much time as I give it.

    If the only thing that is constant is change, is focusing on that constant transitory?

  2. Ryan

    You hit what I was trying to get across when you said “I don’t think it’s worth nearly as much time as I give it.”

    A valuable form of speculation is to consider an area where the outcome really matters to your day to day life or the life of your business. Consider both sides and decide what you’d do under each possible outcome. Re-evaluate when new information comes available. Then, when the outcome actually happens, you can act and act quickly.

    It’s the speculation about things that don’t really matter that bugs me. For example, I got caught up in all the speculation about the iPhone 3G. It was crazy. Several weeks and and iPhone later, did it matter? Not one tiny bit. I was getting the phone pretty much regardless of what happened. It’s now been several months and it matters even less. I could have spent that time more wisely.

    The transitory in this example was the iPhone. Yes, it’s still here, but that’s part of the point: it’s still here and all that time I spent speculating and reading about what others thought might happen really didn’t matter at all in the end.