A trigger of the last economic crisis was the frenzy over the short- term. As if it is end of the world, companies are seeking investment funds with high profits in record time, and families nose diving into debt to make estate purchases sooner and travel. Consumers do not want to wait to buy what they could not afford, and banks could not wait to augment their activity, even at the cost of lending money, who would hardly return.
In this scenario haste and hysteria, after the bubble burst, those who managed their resources wisely and are planned today are in a better position. Interestingly, half a century Austrian psychologist Walter Mischel showed that children able to delay the rewards obtained brightest academic results and medium-term, higher-paying jobs. The experiment, later quoted by Goleman, was to give a four years child a treat, which would become two if child could wait 15 minutes to eat. That is, the child choose between immediate consumption and investment.
Only one in three chose the second option, but the monitoring carried out years later showed that minority achieved much success in their career than the other two thirds. The message is clear: patience and the ability to have a higher than expected immediate gratification prize.
Not only the crisis countries and companies are the result of a lack of perspective. Short-termism is also behind most personal failures in many areas. Here are some of them.
Housing. Those who bought a property on impulse, dragged by property fever, if later discovered that it was not appropriate, and may not sell or probably lose half of their investment.
Career. The hasty choice of a college or training option can weigh on a person’s life, occurring largely in their work.
Couple. Commit to the first person who crosses our path, without inquiring whether it was the ideal, has led to many fiascos sentimental then sequel.
Power. The urge to satisfy the appetite quickly, for example in a fast food, is behind many cases of obesity and other health disorders.
In all these areas, a little thought would have sufficed to prevent problems, paradoxically, after having long lasting.
At the opposite end of the broker who performs an operation in seconds or angry driver who starts a fight without considering the consequences, let’s see what happens in Onkalo, northern Finland. There is building the first nuclear graveyard in the world that should be absolutely secure.
This is a huge underground cellar able to protect at least 100,000 years nuclear waste. Its construction began in 1990 and is forecast to remain sealed in 2100, so that the workers involved in this project know that will not see completed in his life. However, they are aware that they do not work for them but for all generations succeeding them. That gives them a deep sense of mission. To a much smaller scale, numerous studies show that long-term thinkers set more precise targets and conquer more easily. The vision of the great objectives allows them to sacrifice to get immediate satisfaction, with patience and perseverance, have been proposed so far.
Harvard professor and political consultant Edward Banfield studied since the late sixties, why some people achieved their goals while others failed. He hoped that the training, IQ, family and contacts were the key elements to explain the achievements, but did not. To his surprise, he found that he had a key to all success stories ingredient: the perspective of time, ie, the ability of a person to project into the future when making decisions.
As you know marathon runners or novelists, is not easy to keep the mood throughout the whole journey. We’ll have to face immediate temptations – candies – adults, laziness, weariness and discouragement, as there will be tough moments that invite you to throw in the towel.
In his book Masters of the long haul , TS Bateman and Bruce Barry argue that self-regulation is essential for any ambitious plan. If we are to improve our fitness, clean up our economy or any other goal you need time, you need:
Do not lose focus on the actions aimed at the general objective. Knowing what we do is an essential spur.
Controlling emotions because they can erode even the most steadfast purpose.
OK every failure as a basis for improvement. In addition to incorporating these tools to our staff browser, see what the experts recommend planning for a long and fruitful journey:
Defining our objectives in each section. The question that we have sometimes as a game, how do you imagine in ten years?, Is most important, because something big before we achieve it. This is helpful to how we would like our life out here one year, five, ten, twenty… even as a map to keep the orientation.
Clarify itineraries. Once we know what we want to accomplish in each stage, develop specific plans. If we want a career change, we form ourselves asap. If it is an economic or health improvement, change our habits from now.
Establish priorities. We can not meet secondary objectives and ignore the principal. So we fix our map, from day to day and week to week, what the goals are essential to meet. If you have time then, and add other additional objectives.
Prevent the worst scenarios. In any long-term plan will emerge mishaps that can stop us, except that we have planned and are prepared to face them. So it is important, as Delacroix said, ” hope for the best, suspect the worst and take what cometh.”
These recommendations should add start and persist because of an ambitious plan is useless if we do not start right away. And little good if we start then not constant. So you have to start now and do it again tomorrow. And then the day after tomorrow, enjoying everyday alchemy that turns dreams into mist gold reality of what we do.