The Virtue of the Long Perspective

A lost virtue in today’s world is the ability to have a long perspective. We wildly overestimate what we can get done in a week or a month and we drastically underestimate what we can get done in five or ten years. So, make five year plans. Make ten year plans. Don’t let things that aren’t connected to your long perspective demand too much attention.

Why is the long perspective hard? We intuitively know that there are thousands of unexpected things that happen in a year or two, let alone five years. That gets overwhelming so we keep our focus on a shorter horizon.

But that is exactly the point: a lot happens in 5 years. Just because you can't predict it doesn't mean you should waddle half-hazardly through it. Having a long perspective doesn't mean you have planned for everything, it just means you have long goals. When the unexpected happens adjust or capitalize.

You likely have 25, 30, 40, 50 more productive years in you. Take it five or ten years at a time, adjust as needed, and remember, you don’t have to get it right the first time, or even the second. Be flexible, stay humble, think big.

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Jonathan Collins resides in Portland, OR with his wife and two sons. He is a co-founder of The Bible Project. He enjoys turning ideas into realities, writing, speaking and breakfast burritos.

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