J.J. Abrams is one of the most talented and innovative storytellers in Hollywood, and he's known for the mysterious landscape of all of his stories, whether in television, movies, or his newest book with Doug Dorst called S.In his 2007 TED Talk, he told the audience that mystery “represents infinite possibility…it represents hopes [and] potential. Mystery is the catalyst for imagination.”
There's nothing more mysterious than the future. We can't know exactly what will happen when we wake up in the morning, and because the future is a mystery, it holds infinite possibility.
"[I]t represents hope [and] potential."
We know the past, and the past is often filled with disappointment, but the future doesn't have to be like the past.
The problem with the past is that you don't imagine the past, you remember the past. And depending on what the past was like, we often end up trying to remember our way into the future instead of imagining our way into it.
We let the past dictate our future. Or, more accurately, we let he past dictate our vision of the future, and we live based on a false perception of the future.
What we believe about the future impacts how we live today. If mystery represents infinite possibility and is the catalyst for imagination, we can't assume that we know what will happen in the future.
We either work hard to create the future, or we default to repeating the past.
We live to discover, not to remember. And if we don't live to discover, there won't much to remember anyway.