Long-Term Thinking: The Secret Recipe To Keep Moving Forward!

We think we’re being smart by taking shortcuts in life. While that’s great if you’re driving your car from point A to point B, everyone knows that there are no shortcuts in life. To build a strong body, you need to work out and eat healthy food every day.

How to stay focused on the long game?

To play the long game, you don’t need to be overly focused on the future and give up your life in the present. 

  1. The only thing you need is to adjust your expectations. That will not only help you to appreciate the present more, it will also make you more patient.
  2. You want to patiently work towards your goals and at the same time enjoy the process.

Don’t chase short-term goals 

You’re better off improving your skills, building better products, and working on things that you can influence. When you chase short-term goals, you’re often going after things that are out of your control like money, status, and approval of others. 

So instead of chasing those types of things, work on what’s within your control. Eventually, others will come to you. This works on a small and big scale.

Why hasn’t new technology made us more productive than it has?

Balaji Srinivasan asks in a Twitter thread why we’re not far more productive given the technology available. Here I collect the five possible explanations he mentions.

  • The Great Distraction.
    All the productivity we gained has been frittered away on equal-and-opposite distractions like social media, games, etc.
  • The Great Dissipation.
    The productivity has been dissipated on things like forms, compliance, process, etc.
  • The Great Divergence.
    The productivity is here, it’s just only harnessed by the indistractable few.
  • The Great Dilemma.
    Productivity has been burned in bizarre ways that require line-by-line “profiling” of everything.
  • The Great Dumbness.
    The productivity is here, we’ve just made dumb decisions in the West while others have harnessed it.

Three-Act Structure

One of the oldest and most straightforward storytelling formulas

  • Setup — Set the scene and introduce the character(s)
  • Confrontation or “Rising action” — Present a problem and build up the tension
  • Resolution — Resolve the problem

In the first act, set the stage and introduce the character(s) of the story. In the second act, present a problem faced by the character(s) and build up the tension. In the third act, deliver the climax of the story by resolving the problem (with your product or service).

Freytag’s Pyramid: Five-Act Structure

  • Exposition — Introduce important background information
  • Rising action — Tell a series of events to build up to the climax
  • Climax — Turn the story around (usually the most exciting part of the story)
  • Falling action — Continue the action from the climax
  • Dénouement/Catastrophe — Ending the story with a resolution


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