The short and the simple of the matter is is that if you want to solve all of our problems, it isn’t really all that difficult to do. Think long-term and you’re half way there. Of course, the other half is knowing what is good for you and others in the long-term. Believe it or not the first part is the more difficult part. Choosing the right philosophy to guide your decisions isn’t that difficult because philosophy can be learned. However, the ability to think long-term isn’t something that the vast majority of people are capable of learning. This is not because people are born that way, but because they are beaten into thinking short-term. This is accomplished in many ways: People will say things like, “in the long-term, we’re all dead, so why bother?”, “You have to survive today, before you can greet tomorrow,” “life’s too short,” etc. Also, it is in people’s nature to grab for immediate gratification and not delay it. However, for the sake of all humanity, it is in our best interest to think, plan and execute for the long-term.
Many have asked, “what’s wrong with focusing on the short-term?” Some say this with great indignation. Let me give you an example of what’s wrong with focusing on the short-term. Let’s say that you are related to a drug addict. When the addict goes through withdrawal, the short-term solution is to give the drug addict more drugs. In the near-term, this definitely helps to defuse the chaotic situation, but it doesn’t help the addict. The best solution is to deny the drug addict more drugs and ween the addict off of the drugs and keep them off of the drugs. This is a long-term plan and helps the addict to dramatically improve their lives for the rest of their lives, instead of the next few hours. Another example can be discerned from raising children. If a child throws a temper tantrum because the child doesn’t get their way, what is the best solution? To give in to the child’s demand? Yes, this certainly helps to defuse the current situation, but is this really the best thing for the child? Of course NOT!
Yet, when people plan their lives, relations, careers, corporate strategy, or anything else that requires planning, most people can’t help but prioritize short-term gains. It is truly a bizarre thing to witness, yet it is an inescapable truth like the sun rising from the east and setting in the west. In fact, if you tell me the circumstances, and the background of the person making a decision and the situation that requires a decision, I can predict what short-term decision the person will make. Of course, this means that most people make the same stupid decisions, which makes it easy for people like me to predict.
Let’s take relationships as an example of how people make decisions and how it hurts their future well-being. Most people decide on looks long before they even think of anything related to the person. They then focus on things like sense of humor, common interests, source of income, education, wealth, and other superficial and pretentious cues. Then after all that most people do the silliest thing, they equate education, income, social position, and looks to morality, values, integrity, ethics, and honor. Meaning, most people think that if the person is good-looking, has a great education and makes a lot of money then that person is moral, has strong values, will act ethically, with integrity and has honor. Finally, most people decide who to marry not based on anything other than timing. Meaning, they think it’s time to get married, so they marry the one they’re dating at the moment, presuming that the proposal is forth coming. Of course, the problem is is that most people don’t even know who they are, so, of course, they can’t choose the right person for them.
This lack of self-awareness is due to the fact that most people can’t/won’t/don’t think long-term. So, they focus on the short-term and the superficial, because that is the only thing that they can fall back on. This then leads people to make decisions based on short-term benefits and superficial cues, which leads to mistakes compounding on more mistakes.
The bottom-line is that decisions based on short-term gains are, by definition, designed to solve problems for the short-term and only the short-term. Therefore, the only thing that solving for the short-term accomplishes is to postpone the inevitable, compound the issue and make solving the problem that much harder and more painful. Again, this is exactly like giving drugs to a drug addict to solve the short-term pain of withdrawal. However, all this does is to deepen the addiction, make the recovery that much more painful, postpone the inevitable, and compound the problem. This is why we have to learn to focus on the long-term, solve for the long-term and act for the benefit of the long-term. This eliminates the problem of having to solve for the problem that continues to re-occur, it eliminates the re-occurring long-term pain, minimizes the pain, and actually gets rid of the problem, permanently.
So, as a country, one of the things that we have to eliminate immediately are social programs. Because, the only thing that social programs solve is the short-term problem of poverty and lack of opportunity, which only extends the plight of the poor, worsen their problems over time, and make the real solution that much more painful to implement. In short, social programs are no different than giving more drugs to addicts. How most Americans don’t understand and see this is beyond me, especially given the plethora of examples from Europe, Latin America and Asia. Even the latest financial crisis should demonstrate to us the ridiculousness of our fiscal policy, but instead of learning from the situation and eliminating one of the key sources of our problems, we, in effect, give more drugs to a drug addict, specifically in the form of so called “Obamacare!” How ridiculous is this!?
Enough is enough! America, stop solving for the short-term and start thinking, truly thinking and solve for the long-term! But first, understand what is truly in the best interest in the long-run and learn to solve for it correctly!
For more, please read my books, “… Under the Constitution with Liberty and Justice for ALL,” available at http://www.CreateSpace.com/3978962 and also available on Kindle, and “The New Constitution for Modern America,” available at http://www.CreateSpace.com/4281897 and also available on Kindle. Please don’t forget to rate this post. Any comments or questions are welcome and can be left for me on this blog, @Ahmedinejahd on Twitter, on Facebook or via email at AlexAhmedinejahd@Yahoo.com. Thank you in advance for buying my books, and rating this post. And, thanks for visiting my blog; I hope you get an opportunity to read my other posts. Have a great day!