We all have made choices favoring the short-term instead of taking into account the long-term consequences of our actions. Some of us do this regularly and a few fail to look beyond what’s in front of them. It’s easy to do when our societies push short-term gratification as it benefits the company selling this or that. Marketing plants visions of pleasure and gratification in our heads so we gravitate to a certain product or experience. We are urged to take care of our painful back or head with a pill or some other quick fix. We find relief for a short period. What about the future after that experience?
A dog buries a bone when it’s appetite can not manage. The squirrel gathers nuts for a later feast. The bees fill the comb with honey and ants gather for a rainy day. (lines borrowed from Will Durant, The Story of Civilization Part 1, Our Oriental Heritage) We gather and store as a species in massive ways thanks to technology. Using technology is a must if we are to feed more than 8 billion people by 2024 (Ref: http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/ ). This long-term thinking is how we will survive as a species. But, do we understand the principle in our daily lives?
We consume more than we need and leave mountains of waste. We buy stuff and stuff our stuff in stuff collectors who charge a fee so we don’t lose our stuff to other stuffers. Is this preparing for the future or simply amassing stuff which builds our egos as encouraged by organizations seeking to prey upon our vulnerabilities? Perhaps it is neither or both. From the business system perspective it is mismanagement of resources.
What does this have to do with the biz of you? Our biz spans time including short, mid and long-term time horizons. When we connect our purpose to something greater than ourselves, our time horizon extends beyond our lives potentially affecting other lives after our death. No matter what our biz is it is up to us to manage our resources of time, energy and exchange for other’s resources. Balancing both short and long-term benefits allows us to provide for tomorrow out of today’s surplus. We steward the resources of our planet by managing our biz resources responsibly. Everything we do has short, mid, and long-term consequences on the system we are necessarily integrated with. It is for this reason, the biz of you will prosper if you briefly pause in a given situation and think with time horizons beyond the current moment.
I apologize for any typos, punctuation or grammar errors.
Feel free to comment and let me know of my errors so I may correct them and better my biz.
Briefly pausing to think about the consequences of our actions applies to all ages. As an example, I use this principle with our five-year old boy when he’s doing all the things I did when young. When he’s climbing on a banister with a 12 foot drop, both my wife and I tell him to think about what he’s doing and whether he could hurt himself or others. When he pisses on the toilet and doesn’t clean it up, we have him begrudgingly take time and energy out of what he’s doing to go clean it. These situations with my young-lings also serve as reminders in my life. I have the body of a 45-year old and have to pause to re-think how I should do things. My health doesn’t afford the same things the indestructible pompous 20-year old in my head thinks I can do.