This question is asked by thousands of us everyday as we commute to a job that we really hate. It is the question that only a few ever get the answer to.
The question itself gives an insight into how we see our world. We view it through a lens that sees frustration, lack of money and our values taken from us.We keep focusing on all the negatives and it simply gets worse.
We are hard wired to think short term. It comes from our ancestors who had to survive in an environment that presented danger at every turn. We continue to react in this way today. We react to our difficult circumstances by seeking short term relief in drink, recreational drugs, smoking and gambling to name a few. We dream of a better way, we breathe sighs of relief at the weekend and we dread the Monday morning commute that starts it all over again. We head back to a hated workplace, delivering just enough money to pay for a house we only sleep in, clothes we buy to go to work in, and a car that we use mainly to get us to do it all over again week after week.
Even in our collective thinking we think short term. Terrorism brings knee jerk reactions and we respond to it with fear, yet the longer term terror of climate change and pandemics like covid-19 are rarely thought about – its just too far away, too distant. Its the future and we cannot plan properly for it because of the hard wired short term ideology that surrounds us. Then the future arrives and we are left with wondering why has it come to this?
The simple truth is that 99% percent of us continue to think short term. The 1% who succeed deal with the short term stuff but are constantly focused on a longer term outcome. This outcome is their plan their goal their desire to change their life for the better.
When us short term thinkers try to escape from the wasteful, low paying hated job that we do we become victims of the “old enemies”, of doubt, of risk taking, and a terrifying approach to change. We simply are too short sighted to see beyond all that. We remain buried in our comfort zone.
There is however hope. The answer lies in awareness of all the above. The awareness of what our challenges are and how we understand that we are dealing with them through denial and avoidance and playing a blame game. When we tell ourselves that this is whats happening to us, and we are dealing with it by self sabotaging and shortsightedness, we begin to understand that the way forward is through long term planning and short term actions. The true icons of leadership have demonstrated this to us before – they are the 1% who do what the other 99% of us don’t.
When we envision a future by slowing down the present and “connecting” with a future of opportunity we begin to push wasted time spent in hated jobs over the cliff. We deal with the frustrations of today by seeing them as transient issues and not the roadblocks we are currently making of them. We overcome them more quickly because we have a vision that is calling us. This is progress and if we ever wanted to know what the “secret to happiness is” we have the answer – it’s called “progress”.
Making progress requires decisions to respond to short term challenges by creating and executing a long term plan. Forget money, forget time, forget focusing on why it cannot be done. Being resourceful is more important than external resources.
Being calm, expanding our relationship with the future, becoming a superior strategist and avoiding the herd thinking of victimisation, we become embodied with hope, expectation and determination that brings recognition.
Meet risk head on – be more terrified of regret over failure and become an example of success beyond even your own expectations. It pays off – believe me – it pays off in more ways than you can ever imagine.