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Why Having a Long Term View Is So Critical

By: Brian Kim - July 13, 2014

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Delay gratification, have a long term view, be patient, have self control, etc. It's all linked together and on some level, we intuitively understand all that is important but some people can't see EXACTLY why, so they don't think for the long term, hence the reason this needs to be spelled out so people understand.

Here it is.

Without having a long term view of your life, you succumb to the demands of the present. You live in a REACTIVE state of mind and action. You never feel like you have any control of your life. You never get the ball rolling.

And because you're always reactive, because you don't feel like you have control, because you never get the ball rolling, EVEN IF you have a future you desire, it gets that much harder to reach it because you've dug yourself into a hole now.

A hole of developing habits that run contrary to building the future you have.

That future is so hard to reach now because you're not being proactive and taking the steps you need to do to actualize that future because you don't feel like you have control and the ball never starts rolling toward that future.

So because your desired future is that much harder to reach now, guess what the natural reaction is.

Give up.

Because what's the use?

It's so out there and you're in hole now.

You might as well just live for now and forget about the future.

Because it's just too much hard work.

And then your fate is sealed.

The future you desire - it obviously takes time, so without having a long term view, you don't develop the tools and habits to work toward it so it seems too hard to reach so it's easy to indulge in the present.

And then you get caught in that never ending cycle of reactivity.

It's scary if you think about it.

You either end up in two cycles. You either keep going forward or you just keep spinning your wheels where you are. Much easier to do the latter than it is to do the former.

Retirement is a classic example of this.

People who don't have a long term view of retirement just live for the present. They get caught up in their present centered habits until one day, they have to think about retirement but too much time has passed. It's too hard to catch up for all that lost time, so they just keep doing what they're doing and keep their fingers crossed for the future.

People who have a long term view of retirement will see what needs to be done NOW and their choices in the present will be influenced by their long term view. That's the key right there.

They're not reactive. They're proactive.

Because they're proactive, they feel like they have some sense of control in their lives.

Because they're proactive, they get the ball rolling.

Because they get the ball rolling, they form the right habits.

Because they form the right habits, the future they desire seems closer and closer, and it excites them more and more, which keeps them on that path that much more, which brings the future that much closer and closer.

What a beautiful cycle indeed!

And it all starts with having a long term view in mind.

Think about golf. If you know where you want to hit the ball, that will influence how you stand, how far you swing your club back, how hard you hit the ball, how much follow through you have, etc.

The end influences everything from the start.

And that's what we need to remember.

Being present alone is not enough because you just float around.

Thinking about the future alone isn't enough either because you never get anything done in the present.

But starting from the end in mind and letting that influence what choices and small actions you take in the present is the way to go.

And then you'll be able reap the rewards of having a long term view and eventually see what the hype was all about.

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