One thing I know for sure is that life is a marathon not a sprint.
Being short sighted is a common problem (if I may call it that). Shortsightedness may get you further ahead and may allow you to have more fun, in the short term – but over the long haul it’s rarely ever worth it.
Think about planting a garden. When you start with a blank slate and a desire to have a beautiful garden it can be really exciting. Staring at an empty plot of land it’s understandable that you would want your garden to be lush and thick and full of beautiful flowers, textured plants and a variety of trees. To get that today you need a ton of plants, flowers, and shrubs planted close together.
In the long run however, your garden will be be too dense. Trees may start taking over casting too much shade for other plants and flowers to survive. After 5 years the plants may be too close to the house with the roots damaging the foundation, limbs may fall on the roof etc …
Being short sighted gave you great results in the first year or two but in the long run it proved to be a waste of time, money and energy.
When it comes to our kids, our jobs, or planning for retirement (just some examples), it really does pay to think in terms of the long run.
Being too focused on the day to day activities and simply getting through our tasks in order to appease people, leaves little time to look at the big picture, the long term plan.
Long term thinking allows us to be innovative, create change, and drive purposefully towards what we want our life to look like.
1. Take 15 minutes each day to think about the long-term impact of some decisions you’ve made recently (preferably every day this month, but at the very least when you think of it). Assess whether or not the decisions you’ve made have endurance or do they really just benefit you in the short term.
2. After a few days of doing this exercise assess whether your decisions are still mostly short term or are they becoming more long term.
The thing to remember is making decisions for the long term is not always easy and is not always fun. It may be a lot more fun now to spend every penny you earn on phones, gadgets, homes and cars but doing this in excess will set you up for failure in the long run. You may not be able to retire early or at all, and if you’re really short sighted you may not have given this possibility any thought.
If you find that some decisions you’ve made will not be sustainable in the long run, reconsider. There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind or renegotiating.
Don’t let your short shortsightedness be your demise. There is another option.
Do you fall into this trap of thinking in the short term? How will you work at shifting to long term thinking? Or is it even a problem?