168 Things

Don't stop thinking about tomorrow

June 03, 2020 Paul Kitcatt and Chalice Croke Season 1 Episode 1
168 Things
Don't stop thinking about tomorrow
168 Things
Don't stop thinking about tomorrow
Jun 03, 2020 Season 1 Episode 1
Paul Kitcatt and Chalice Croke

Lockdown may be coming to an end - or maybe not. It's been frightening, weird, peaceful, unsettling, harrowing - and the roller-coaster ride doesn't end when we're all allowed out again. Normal is going to be different. 
In this podcast - the first in our series - we take some advice from Fleetwood Mac, and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, and talk about what we hope we can do to help you ride the ups and downs to come.

Show Notes Transcript

Lockdown may be coming to an end - or maybe not. It's been frightening, weird, peaceful, unsettling, harrowing - and the roller-coaster ride doesn't end when we're all allowed out again. Normal is going to be different. 
In this podcast - the first in our series - we take some advice from Fleetwood Mac, and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, and talk about what we hope we can do to help you ride the ups and downs to come.

Episode 1. 

Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow


Paul Kitcatt:     Hello Chalice, nice to see you.

Chalice Croke: It's nice to see you too.

Paul:                This is the first podcast in our series ‘168 things we've learned about creative marketing and we think you'd find useful to know’. Now when I was planning this with you, we came up with the idea that there would be 168 podcasts - and you might think that we'd start with number one. But we're not going to. We're going to start with number 55. Because in fact the order that we wrote these down is fairly random, and number 55 as it turns out seems to be the one that's most relevant to today. ‘Don't stop thinking about tomorrow’, as everyone will know, is a line from a famous song by which band? 

Chalice:           Fleetwood Mac.

Paul:                Fleetwood Mac. It came out in 1976 I think - or at least that's when I certainly heard it a lot. It was my first year at University.

Chalice:           Was it now? I was probably about 5 then.

Paul:                Yes OK, we won’t to go into that too much. But it was very famous song - though it's not one of my favourite songs by any means - but I think everyone has heard it. And the reason why I have taken that as the title for this podcast is I think that there are two things that can be said about the situation that we're now in, that the song points towards. And I should also say at this point that podcast number 31 is all about how we can learn to be better writers by listening to the lyrics of songs. But we won't come to that for a while because we probably will do the rest of these in the right order. 

So - don't stop thinking about tomorrow - everyone can call that to mind. I did think about singing it, but I'm not going to. The chorus goes, ‘Don't stop thinking about tomorrow, don't stop it'll soon be here.’ Here are the two things about that: one, we are in a state of almost suspended animation at the moment, aren't we? In lockdown. We can't go out, can't meet, people are missing everyone, we're learning to do things remotely - as we are today - but there is at least one good thing about that - it focuses our mind on living in the here and now. Living in the present is something that is recommended by many philosophers. By Zen Buddhism for example – now you know about Zen Buddhism don't you?

Chalice:           I’ve practised Buddhism for a number of years and I understand why it's important to appreciate the present, and how you can't influence the past and we don't really know what's going to happen in the future - but it's hard. We're busy people and living in the present can be very difficult when you're wrapped up in the world as we know it. And in the past.

Paul:                Yes it can. I was very interested to see that the one of the books that has been selling at something like a 700% increase in its sales is the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Marcus Aurelius, as you know, was emperor of Rome from 161 to 180AD; and unusually for Roman emperor, he was very good man and he was a philosopher. He thought very deeply about everything and unusually for a philosopher he was also very powerful man - most philosophers are not powerful people. Marcus Aurelius ruled an empire that stretched from the borders of Persia all the way to the Atlantic Ocean and all the way north to the border with Scotland and all the way south to the Sahara Desert. 

Chalice:           Incredibly powerful then.

Paul:                It was the greatest power in the world at the time. His Meditations concern themselves with how we should live, particularly in the present. One of the most famous quotations from him says, ‘You have power over your mind, not outside events.’ 

                        Now you can see I think why people might want to read the philosophical ideas behind that at a time like now: because we have no control over what's going on, but we do have control over our minds - or we can. 

Living in the present is really important - and yet the song that occurred to me for this talk is ‘Don't stop thinking about tomorrow’. And the reason for that is, in our personal lives living in the present is great; but we also can't help thinking about what's going to happen next. Lockdown is going to end we don't quite know when; we don't know quite whether it will just all happen at once or what's going to be the way that it's done - but that's something we need to think about professionally. 

And so as a theme for a podcast I thought it was a good introduction because what you and I are trying to do here is use our experience in creative marketing and offer it to people. They can take it or leave it, but what we hope is that they find it useful and that they will be able to use what time we have left in lockdown when we're not busy-busy at work, and will use that time to prepare themselves to go back to work and maybe acquire some new skills, or some new thoughts, or some new attitudes - and we're going to talk in these podcasts about every aspect of creative marketing. Creativity itself, having ideas, pitching, copywriting, art direction –

Chalice:           Operations.

Paul:                Absolutely, operations: the very important stuff that makes things actually happen which you, Chalice, are absolutely brilliant at –

Chalice:           I might talk about process, Paul.

Paul:                Yes, process - there's a talk here about ‘everybody loves process’. What we’re hoping is every podcast will contain maybe just one or two thoughts that people can take with them and hopefully will benefit them. So what we're saying is: by all means, philosophically, live in the present. It’s a good thing -  it's good for mental health - but also think about what's going to happen next and get ready for that.

And then the other part of the lesson from this song  - and I’m sure when Fleetwood Mac wrote it they weren't thinking of this as a sermon - but the final line is, ‘Yesterday's gone’. Now we all know logically that yesterday has gone and you can't do anything about it. But I think the truth of that is something that we sometimes miss because we can't help thinking about the past and - you know - psychotherapists will tell us that we need to look at our childhoods and our parents and how they behaved and that influences how we are in the world – and in some extreme situations there are things that may have happened to in your childhood that you do need to deal with. But what you can't do is changes it. In fact what you can do is what Marcus already said, and use your mind to have power over how you think about what happened in the past; but you can't change the events of the past.

And that sounds pretty obvious, but it's an important lesson. And of course relevant to this situation, isn't it? Which is to say, what we know about the world when lockdown ends is, it’s not going to be the same as it was before. The world that we were living in up until all this started - that has gone. It's gone, and it's not coming back. It’s coming back in a different shape.

Chalice:           We can take learnings from the past and bring some of our knowledge to the present and hopefully influence some of the new outcomes in the future.

Paul:                Yes - that's exactly what we're doing here, isn't it? Because we're talking about our experience, which is the past, that can be applied in the future. And I think we're going to be highly creative about how we approach the post-lockdown world which will be very different. 

So that's really why ‘Don't stop thinking about tomorrow’ is a great song to refer to in this situation and it's a good starting point for this series of podcasts.

All right, I don't want to say any more about that song. The next thing we're going to talk about in our next podcast - if we go to number one on my list – is this little thought: treat your customers like prospects and your prospects like customers – and we’ll talk about that next time.

OK - we hope you have enjoyed this - see you soon.

Chalice:           Bye.

Paul:                ‘168 things we've learned about creative marketing and we think you'll find useful to know’ is a series of podcasts created by Paul Kitcatt and Chalice Croke. Production was by William Kitcatt, who also wrote the theme music. We hope you enjoyed - it if you did, please subscribe. See you soon – bye.