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Long Term Thinking

April 5, 2022

It’s Monday morning and I get in the car to head to work. Flat tire. The worst.

I take it to the tire shop closest to me and they present me with two options:

  • We can TRY to patch it but based on where the nail is in the tire, we don’t believe it will work… at least not for long.
  • We replace the tire.

Option one is cheaper and faster. But, more likely than not, I’m going to be back in here in a few days. Option two will cost more and take longer, but we know it will work.

Do you ever feel torn between a choice that’s more expedient in the short-term and one that will pay off over the long term?

There may be legitimate reasons to choose the first option, especially if you can’t afford to replace the tire right now. However, when we choose what’s best long term, we are almost always glad we did.

Think about what you’re facing  today. Are you employing long term thinking?

We are all tempted to settle for the short term.

The idea is going to take too much work.

The weight loss isn’t happening as quickly as I want.

The relationship is requiring a lot more work than I expected; is it worth it?

I want to be fully engaged as a dad, but I don’t want to entertain my child who can’t even talk to me; surely, she won’t notice if I escape to my phone for a little while.

I know I need to save for the future, but retirement seems too far away.

This whole starting a business thing is too much work; wouldn’t I rather go work somewhere that I can leave the problems when I go home?

Investing in my coworkers on top of getting my work done is exhausting; maybe I should give up trying to do both?

Actively serving the church is too tough at this stage of life; I’ll just enjoy the Sunday morning service and not invest too much energy.

Zig Ziglar said, “The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now.”

This is one of my favorite quotes. It communicates a fundamental truth that I fully embrace, and it’s the concept that inspired my first book.

But as simple and true as that quote is, it’s HARD to put into practice.

The thoughts creep in. The frustration mounts. The future feels like too far away. And it seems a lot easier to sacrifice that future to enjoy this moment.

It’s tempting, but it’s not worth it.

I don’t want to get down the road and have my story filled with “should have,” “could have,” or “wish I would have.”

The goal is worth it. Keep your eye on the prize and make the commitment to exchange the immediate for the ultimate.

And, yes, I went ahead and got the new tire.


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