Everywhere you turn, it seems that someone is touting the benefits of long-term thinking. If you’re too focused on long-term thinking, you lose sight of the success that you can find when you practice short-term planning.
What’s so sad is that too many people get advised to “think about the future” instead of living in the present. It’s important to have a healthy balance of long and short term planning.
The long-term portion enables you to dream big and shoot for the stars. The short-term efforts allow you to see immediate progress and enjoy the steps you’re taking on a regular basis.
Limitations of Long-Term Thinking
The biggest problem with long-term thinking is that it continually projects everything into the future. You end up always looking at what you’re going to enjoy “someday.” What you can afford “someday.”
The business move you’ll make “some day.” It’s always about where you’re going to go and how you’re going to end up where you want to be. It limits your vision scope, keeping you stuck.
Your “someday” steals the wise moves you could make today. Long-term thinking forces you to keep your nose to the grindstone, always looking for what’s ahead rather than what you have or can do right now.
So what happens is that you completely miss the short term things you could experience that could have more of an impact on your goals than your long term strategy.
When you practice long-term thinking to the point that you don’t even consider the short-term, you end up laying a foundation of problems. Among these problems are stress, potential burnout and living a life that doesn’t contain things that bolster your momentum and feed your joy.
When you live your life so focused on the long-term that you don’t see the good and the joy in the short-term, not only can it cause burnout, but it can cause health problems and emotional upheaval.
You can become overtired, overworked and mentally exhausted. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to plan for what you want to see happen in your life. But that doesn’t mean that you should be so focused that you can’t do or see things any other way.
Life is not meant to be a journey of absolutes. It’s meant to be enjoyed as you make your way toward your goals. In order to live life beautifully, fully and get what you want, you need to think in short-term if you want success.
Some people want to spend so much time on thinking about long-term success that they exist, but they don’t live. An example of that is a couple that scrimps and saves for something they want only to discover in the end that they can’t afford what they really need.
They traded short-term thinking and living a happier life for something that in the end, didn’t pan out. A good example of long-term thinking robbing potential success over short-term thinking is when people go thousands of dollars into debt for a college degree.
This kind of long-term thinking ends up not making them happy, many of them don’t really use the degree that they’ve chosen, and now they’re going to have to spend the next 10-15 years paying off that loan.
What happened was these college students didn’t consider what could happen that can alter long-term thinking.