On Long Term Thinking
If we think long term, we can accomplish things that we couldn’t otherwise accomplish.
Why long term thinking matters?
There are many reasons for it, but one of them is the work without long term dedication can be copied and become obsolete quickly.
In other words, it gets commoditized.
Let’s say a company ABC starts an e-commerce site selling books.
Even if the books it sells is great, today it can be copied quickly by others, and the company will be forced to lower price and lose profit eventually.
On the other hand, what if the company started selling a book AND built its logistics, subscription, digital content, and more? Yea, like Amazon does.
A totally different result.
It’s not limited in business – long term thinking can be applied to study, sports, and personal life.
By mastering long term thinking, you can achieve a lot more than others, because only a few adapt to this method.
Let’s talk more about it.
Have you done a test prep just 24 hours before the test starts?
If you’re smart, you might receive a high score, but the chances are that you don’t remember a thing after a few weeks.
Anything you can achieve in the short term would be lost very quickly.
It just doesn’t stick. Things achieved in a day, can also be lost in a day
Some of our tasks can be completed with short term thinking – like replying to emails and cleaning houses.
So you don’t have to think about everything in the long term.
But for your professions, long term thinking is essential. Unless you have a year or more extended plan, you always choose an easier path and eventually become obsolete.
For instance, a sales team without long term thinking will pick short term gains at the expense of long term sustainability. One can easily assume what’d happen to this team after a few years.
How can we avoid the short-sighted?
There are two aspects of implementing long term thinking.
First, choose what you love.
You don’t have to be in whatever hot right now. Don’t dive into artificial intelligence because everyone else is doing. That’s a wrong approach.
Instead, find what you’re genuinely interested in and spend time on it.
When Linus Torvalds developed Linux – one of the most used operating systems in the world, he didn’t have a short-term monetization plan. He was so curious that he built the OS for himself.
He continued the development in the long term without paying attention to a short term gain, which can be noise and temptation to take shortcuts.
Make sure to spend time on things that attract you rather than force yourself to do things you hate – that won’t last so long.
The second part is to choose what you’re good at.
Even if you’re passionate about, if your work isn’t producing any value, you cannot continue for a sustainable period.
Focus on things you can do better than the others, and master it in a longer period.
A drink of Coca-Cola, an animation of Disney, shoes of Nike – they didn’t master their offerings overnight.
They took decades to craft their production, operation, and branding.
Combine what you love and are good at, thinking in the long term, appears to be a winning formula.
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