The security industry had a terrible year in 2020\u2014some even think the worst ever. You can point to failures in working from home after COVID-19 struck, various election narratives, the SolarWinds breach, foreign nation-state cyberattacks, new ransomware, the global lack of cybertalent, government leader mistakes or a long list of other items.My favorite quote that captures this \u201cgood riddance\u201d sentiment is from Back to the Future when Doc warns Marty: \u201cWhatever happens, don\u2019t ever go to 2020!\u201d \u00a0(Note: Avid Back to the Future fans, you can get the T-shirt here.)\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0Regardless of who you blame (or not) for 2020 failures, Bruce Schneier now thinks the best path forward after the SolarWinds breach is for the majority of Fortune 500 companies to burn down their networks and rebuild from scratch.But even if this radical approach is followed by public- and private-sector organizations, this advice begs many questions. Do we rebuild the same network architecture? Will the same people, processes, and technology (presumably with known vulnerabilities patched) keep the bad actors out in the future? Can we keep doing the same things and expect a different result? Bottom line, have we learned anything from the past decade\u2014or even the past year?\u00a0Career lessons from Back to the FutureWhich brings me back to my second favorite trilogy of all time. There are several great lists of life lessons we can learn from the Back to the Future movies, and here are some of my favorite articles on this topic:9 life lessons anyone can learn from Back to the Future5 cyber security concerns in Back to the Future IIWhat 'Back to the Future' Teaches Us About InnovationAs I pondered this topic over the recent holidays, and watched the three fun movies one more time, I came up with my top three career lessons that cyber pros (and other tech enthusiasts) can learn from that masterful movie series that features a DeLorean time machine.1. Surround yourself with experts who you trust and who believe in you.I love the multi-generational aspects of Back the Future, with both the Doc\/Marty relationship and how the parents' and grandparents' character traits are passed down through the generations\u2014even as their surroundings were very different in Hill Valley. No matter what circumstances arise in the trilogy, those trusted relationships are key.Understanding our past can help us understand the present and the future. It is easy to make assumptions about others and think that they made decisions because of who they are rather than the circumstances they experienced. When we learn more about the past, it can put their actions into context and enlighten us about how things came to be in the current situation. Knowing history well can also help us avoid making the same mistakes over and over.\u00a0Tip: Ask trusted colleagues about the key decisions (good or bad) that they made, and how those decisions impacted their current situation.2. Believe in yourself; don\u2019t sweat it if people call you \u201cchicken.\u201dThroughout the trilogy, Marty McFly reacts strongly whenever anyone calls him \u201cchicken.\u201d However, at the end of the third movie, when it becomes clear that he could die from a duel with Buford \u201cMad Dog\u201d Tannen, Marty realizes it doesn\u2019t matter what Tannen (or his other adversaries) say about him.After Marty learns this lesson, he refuses to enter a car race in 1985. This decision saves him from getting into a car accident. We learned in the second movie that this car accident would have injured his wrist, stopped him from playing guitar, and get him fired from his job in the future (2015).The questions that we all need to ask ourselves on a regular basis is: What are our career goals? Who are you trying to please? Why?\u00a0As cyber pros, we need to believe in ourselves rather than focus on negative comments that are sure to come from industry competitors. As Mark Victor Hansen recommends, \u201cBy recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands\u2014your own.\u201dTip:\u00a0 Go over your goals and plans on a regular basis with a trusted mentor who can support your action plans. Also, becoming a life-long learner who is constantly reinventing your career and growing skillsets in different situations will enable you to succeed no matter what cyberspace throws at you.\u00a0 3. Don\u2019t stop thinking about tomorrow, because past trends can teach us about tomorrow\u2019s reality\u2014especially in security. Predicting the future is hard in any area of life, but it's especially difficult when it comes to technology and cybersecurity. That doesn\u2019t mean we don\u2019t try to our best to connect the dots regarding cyber trends, which is why I spend many hours digesting and writing about security industry predictions each year.\u00a0 (You can see my latest security industry prediction report about 2021 here.)True, no one saw a global COVID-19 pandemic coming in 2019, so our view of 2020 was fundamentally flawed in many respects. Nevertheless, the prognosticators still got many things right.Five years ago, I wrote this article for CSO Magazine entitled: Why more security predictions and how can you benefit? I ended by saying:Bottom line, the more the security and technology industries grow, the more predictions we will have. From the Internet of Things, to new technologies to robots to self-driving cars, do you really think we will be talking about security and privacy less in 2020? I don\u2019t.\u00a0\u00a0Predictions are not new, and they are not going away. In fact, they are just getting started.Congratulations security industry, and welcome to center ring in this three-ring circus. Yes, it is a very big circus, but that\u2019s where all the action is.It turned-out that I was right, and we now have more new security predictions than ever before.Tip: Take time to think about the future career in your area of expertise. Thinking about the movie trilogy, when we project ourselves into the future and consider all of our goals, it can help us gain perspective on the present situation and what to do next. Considering future options will open doors to insights about your present situation and what your current decisions might actually mean.One final thought: As Bill Gates said, "We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten." Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.