The ability to think long term is a critical skill and only few people realise this. When you talk to most people, one thing that you will notice is that many of them are incredibly caught up in the present.
At the very best, they may plan a few weeks or months into the future, but most people do not think long term at all.
Despite this, when you look at some of history’s most successful people, one thing that you will find is that many of them thought long term, and planned for the future, as opposed to being caught up in the present.
There are a number of reasons why long term thinkers tend to succeed when compared to those who think more in the short term.
For one, long term thinkers are willing to make sacrifices in the present, sacrifices that most people would be unwilling to make.
For example, it is commonly known among most people that it is a wise and prudent idea to save for one’s retirement, the day when they will choose to start working.
It is obvious why this is a wise idea, as many of us do not want to work for the rest of our lives, and many of us simply will not be able to once we reach a certain age.
Despite this commonly known fact, statistics still show that most people today still do not save or invest for their retirement.
The reason for this is simple: most people think in the present, and being able to plan for retirement requires a person to be a long term thinker.
Planning for one’s retirement is just one of the many areas where being able to plan ahead will give you a key advantage. Another area is technology, business, and education.
Much like saving for retirement, it is commonly known that it is a good idea for the parents of a newborn child to begin saving for their college tuition while they are young, and yet again, many parents today fail to do so, forcing their children to take on thousands of dollars in student loans once they decide to go to school at the age of 18.
Again, failing to plan ahead, whether for retirement or your children’s education, is a mistake which can lead to great hardship later on.
How to Become a Long Term Thinker
The essence of becoming a long term thinker is to spend more timing thinking about the future than the present or the past.
While it is obvious that we must live in the present, being too caught up in the present without regard to the future will lead to a future which is lacking in success.
The first step in becoming a long term thinker is to start spending time thinking about your future goals. Do not be afraid to think about retirement, old age, or issues of this manner.
Ask yourself where you would like to be in five years, ten years, or twenty years. When you begin thinking like this, you’re becoming what is called a long term thinker.
Once you begin thinking in this manner, the next step is to begin "planning for the future." If you want to put away money for retirement, then it makes sense to start saving for retirement today.
If you have a child, and you would like to see them to grow up to attend college and get a high quality education, then you will need to begin preparing them for this today.
Thinking about the future means absolutely nothing if you do not take the time to take actions which will allow you to prepare for it.
To think about the future without making preparations for it is like planning a vacation without knowing where you want to go. Planning for the future will require you to make sacrifices.
To become a powerful long term thinker, be prepared to make sacrifices today. It is impossible to become successful as a long term thinker if you are unwilling to make sacrifices today.
Most people fail to save for their retirement or the education of their children simply because they are not willing to make the sacrifices today which will allow them to have the future they want tomorrow.
Planning for the future will always require you to make trade offs, no matter where you are in life. It is impossible to succeed in the long term if you’re unwilling to sacrifice today.