The long run

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Bill Gates

Long term success is often attained only through hard work and many failures. It is difficult to get long lasting and meaningful change in the short term. This applies to almost anything in life, this is because true success is only possible because of the hard work and failure.

If you were instantly given strength, it wouldn’t take long till it was lost and you reverted back to your current strength levels. In multiple studies, people who win the lottery are twice as likely to file for bankruptcy every year than the general population”. This is because their base actions haven’t changed. Despite the fact that they now have hundreds of millions of dollars, their old habits continue at an amplified level.  So even though they are now multi-millionaires, odds are that they will be bankrupt within years or worse are laden with debt they can’t pay off. When things come quick and easy, they don’t last for a long time.

Shifting focus to the long term is one way to ensure longevity and success. Often the immediate wins are at odds with success in the long run. This is because short term volatility exists. Take weight loss for example, losing weight doesn’t occur in a smooth linear fashion, it takes time and along the way you’ll stagnate and even gain weight. So if you solely focus on the short term, you will see that you’ve gained some weight and maybe the course of action is to not eat that day, this leads to lower energy levels and the inability to train as hard as you normally can, and this will lead to even slower weight loss. On the other hand, if we remember that weight loss is a roller coaster ride that gradually trends down, we’ll know that even though we put on some weight today, in a months time, we will be at a lower weight because we’ve focused on the short term actions and long term outcomes.

Focus on short term actions and long term results. When we shift our present focus on the work that we can do today, it ensures that we stay the course and reinforce the habits that will ensure we achieve our long term habits. We need to set aside any misguided concern about short term wins/losses as they ultimately will not matter in a few years. The upcoming years of our lives is where we need to be setting the goal posts, because it takes time for something great to occur.


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