I have always thought about the long term. I don’t focus on immediate gratification. Because long-term goals pack much more satisfaction than short-term rewards. One is like a king-sized candy bar. The other is like the mini version you eat in half a bite. (If it were possible to eat anything other than apple sauce in half a bite.)
One of my favorite examples of long-term thinking comes from famed landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmstead. Check out his quote below:
“I have all my life been considering distant effects and always sacrificing immediate success and applause to that of the future. In laying out Central Park we determined to think of no result to be realized in less than forty years.”
- Fredrick Law Olmstead
Olmstead wasn’t thinking about Central Park being finished in the year he began crafting it. He was thinking far into the future. He was focused on a time decades later when the trees would be fully mature. When Mother Nature would finish what he started. And when the park would be the inspiration for a coffee shop on the hit sitcom Friends.
What distant effects are you working on now? What investments are you making today in your personal or professional life that you expect to pay out years from now? If you don’t have any it’s time to think longer term.
You are building your future today. Ensure your long-term successes by establishing habits that will create a steady, positive, compounding effect. Make each day of your life add to your legacy. Remember, long-term results take longer to achieve. But they offer the greatest return on your invested time.
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