The Continuum of Long Term

As I clean out my previously read articles, I find myself being reacquainted with old ideas that caught my attention.

The opening of this week’s newsletter from Ann Friedman reminded me of the article Six Ways to Think Long Term from The Long Now Foundation.

(Yes, I’m further segmenting the intention of The Continuum that is mentioned—for which I apologize—but I also believe it folds back in.)

We work so much in the short term, caught in the tyranny of the now (or the week, the month, or the year), but at some point after five years, I feel things begin to stretch. Planning for a project past that point seems so long for an individual, even though we do it for our jobs and careers.

But what about further? Ten years? Twenty-five? Fifty or one hundred? On the infographic of “Six Ways to Think Long Term,” Cathedral Thinking references the projects that expand beyond a human lifetime and may take decades to complete.

Then there are the multiple global crises, many around before I was born, yet still haven’t gained enough momentum to stop—because we can’t break from our rigid short term thinking.

Realizing that we are on that continuum of “those that came before and those who will come after” is an important first step in making positive change.