Chet Holmes once said “Most people spend more time planning a vacation than they do planning a life.” Your ability to think, plan, and work hard in the short term and to discipline yourself to do what is right and necessary before you do what is fun and easy is the key to creating a wonderful future for yourself. Your ability to think long term is a developed skill. As you get better at it, you become more able to predict with increasing accuracy what is likely to happen in the future as the result of your actions in the present. This is a quality of the superior thinker. “Nobody arrives anywhere carelessly in life.” You are the captain of your ship and you are the architect of your fate. Plan today so you can play tomorrow.
Short-term gain can cause long-term pain. Always ask yourself what will make you happy over the long term. The most successful people are long-term thinkers. They look into the future as far as they can to determine the kind of people they want to become and the goals they want to achieve. They then come back to the present and determine the things that will have to do- or not do to– achieve their desired futures. This practice of long - term thinking applies to work, career, marriage, relationships, money and personal conduct.
Perhaps the most important word in long-term thinking is sacrifice. Superior people have the ability to throughout their lives make sacrifices in the short term, both large and small, so as to assure greater results and rewards in the long term.
You see this willingness to sacrifice in people who spend many hours and even years preparing, studying and upgrading their skills to make themselves more valuable so that they can have a better life in the future, rather than spending most of their time socializing and having fun in the present.
Be futuristic in your thinking. Have you been in an interview and you are being asked, where do you see yourself five years from now? Why this question, perhaps the company wants to know if they are recruiting someone with a sense of direction and purpose.
We live in a society of instant gratification, it is the inability to save to delay gratification in the short term that leads people to spending everything they earn and little more besides, usually supplement by loans and credit card debt. Save for the raining days, plan for the wintertime of life. You might not have a perfect plan to avert what is to come, but let the future meet you at least a little prepared. If you want to be financially independent, you need to discipline your spending orgies.
See the future of your business field before it arrives. What form of technology or inventions might come up in the years to come that might render your business redundant? The only way to remain relevant in life is to outgrow the latest growth and development in your field of specialization. What got you this far, might not get you any further, as the world keeps improving so also its requirement to get along.
Great visionaries are long-term thinkers, they do not just only know where they are going five years, ten years, or twenty years from now, but they also have an action plan on how to get there. They might have to take so many detours in the course of their journey, but their sense of direction will always get them back on track. You have to be strategically positioned to the trend of development; otherwise, you might lose relevance in the marketplace.
A classic example of a long-term thinking is the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative launched in the United States, aimed at curing and managing all diseases by the end of this century, which is 2100. Another similar illustration is the man by name Dmitry Itskov, a Russian billionaire and entrepreneur who is currently working on the "future evolution of human being; (Cybernetic Immortality)” So many inventions around us reflect how certain companies and individuals are being futuristic in their approach; the google self-ride bicycle, the solar – powered vehicle to mention a few.
Think future, think long-term.
Daniel Cole is an International Motivational Speaker, Inspirational writer, Columnist and a Published Authour.