April 12, 2015

How to Manage Short-Term Desires with Long-Range Goals.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

To fashion a life marked by lasting success, you must address the unconscious way that most people spend their days. Activity automatically fills any amount of time that’s given to it.

If you let the demands and desires of the day consume every minute, short-term waste turns into long-term frustration. This happens unconsciously without paying much attention to how the time flies by, then the days, months, and years. How can you consciously balance what is needed today with long-range achievement? The key is awareness. Unconscious living is the same as having constricted awareness. Conscious living is a process of expanding your mind instead. This may sound a bit lofty, but in reality you can make great progress by examining how you fill your day.

Three activities that are universally used to fill time:

  1. Following a set routine.
  2. Coping with challenges as they come up.
  3. Fulfilling short-term desires.

The first two have been covered in some detail in the last few posts, so now let’s address the third.

In everyone’s life short-term desires compete with long-term desires, and whoever finds the right balance will reap the greatest success. If you focus too much on short-term gratification, the following things become too important: eating, drinking, running errands, keeping everything neat and tidy, micro-managing others, perfectionism, gossip, and trivial distractions. Experts in time management point out that all of these are inefficient and wasteful, which is certainly true.

But the larger point is that none of these activities challenges your mind. They require a short attention span, and in place of long-term gratification, you are settling for tiny hits of pleasure. A stream of short-term gratification is like eating a candy bar every half hour instead of cooking and enjoying a banquet.

Long-term desires are emotionally more mature, because they delay gratification in the service of a bigger reward. People realize this, which is why they plan for their retirement. Years of hard work lead to a payoff down the road. But too often those years are not gratifying. They are more like putting in your time at the salt mines. The trick is to derive the right kind of short-term fulfillment. The right kind isn’t hard to define. It consists of what you do today to make next year better.

Think of it like writing a book. If you write a page every day, your manuscript will be done next year. A page doesn’t sound like much, but the catch is that it must fit into the final product. Ernest Hemingway set himself a daily goal of half a page only. If you can do anything today that consciously goes toward fulfilling a long-range vision, plan, project, or mission, you will become the Hemingway of your own life.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Set down a single vision, project, or mission.
  2. Set time aside to work on it every day.
  3. Work consists of doing research, making connections, investigating your target audience or market, learning from projects similar to yours, challenging your assumptions, writing a proposal, seeking a mentor, partner, or confidant to bounce your ideas off, and raising capital if needed.
  4. Set interim deadlines that you can reasonably meet every month.
  5. Be adaptable about changing your project as it unfolds.

Each of these steps should be interesting and, one hopes, exciting to you.

Consciousness expands whenever a person feels creative, passionate, and joyful.

If you don’t have these qualities, you won’t wake up every morning eager to fulfill your long-range goal. The value of following the five steps I’ve suggested is that you become action oriented; your goal doesn’t drift or become an empty dream.

In the next post we’ll discuss the most productive and valuable long-range goals. Hint: they begin on the inside and work outward.

(To be cont.)


Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 80 books with twenty-two New York Times. He serves as the founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing. Coming soon, The 13th Disciple (HarperOne)

Photo credit: Gabriela Rangel

Originally published by Linkedin

Write Your Comment

  1. Yemi Owolabi

    Thanks, very inspiring

  2. Yemi Owolabi

    Thanks, very inspiring

  3. Yemi Owolabi

    Thanks, very inspiring

More Comments
How AI Can Elevate Spiritual Intelligence and Personal Well-Being
September 17, 2024
Scroll Up