Three behaviors to cultivate in order to master long-term thinking

By Tonny Wandella

Short-term thinkers are preoccupied with the present and have minor considerations for the future. They decide and act because of their decisions. Long-term thinkers are continually planning for the future. Regardless of the timeline, the important thing is that individuals examine the repercussions, advantages, and other factors while deciding.

On your path to becoming a long-term thinker, cultivate three mental habits in particular. Here are some habits you need to cultivate to be a long-term thinker.


Long-term thinking is fundamentally about remaining true to yourself as well as your vision. There’s a lot of pressure in our society to please people in the short term: saying yes to one more obligation because you don’t want to disappoint them, or taking the “wonderful job” that everyone else admires but leaves you feeling dead on the inside.

When you operate with the long term in mind, it can take a long time for your efforts to pay off — and if you’re searching for external validation, the wait can be excruciating. Instead, we require an internal compass that says, “I’m willing to lay my bet regardless of what people think, and I’m willing to do the work,” if we want to become courageous long-term thinkers.


 Some people are satisfied to follow the path that has been carved out for them by others, without questioning or considering alternatives. However, for most of us, a life of coloring between the lines can leave us feeling empty — especially if our passions don’t neatly correspond with what society values. We may not understand the precise and ideal path for us (who does at first? ), but curiosity is a quality that can bring us there. By paying close attention to how we spend our leisure time and figuring out who and what fascinates us, we may learn more about what motivates us — and, eventually, where we can begin to contribute.


By definition, trying something new, something different, is an experiment. You have no idea if it will work or not, and it frequently does not. Too many of us cower in the face of rejection or failure, figuring that the editor who rejected us was the ultimate arbiter of taste, or even that the institution that rejected us knew exactly what they were doing. That, however, is just not the case. Chance, luck, and individual preferences all play a big part in how things turn out. If 100 individuals reject your work, you’ve received a strong message. But one, two, or ten? You haven’t even started yet.

Because nothing works out the first time, or in the manner you imagined it, being a long-term thinker necessitates a foundation of resilience.

The Bottom Line

Long-term thinking implies that you are at ease visualizing and actively working toward the future. You’ll have a better ability than others to see, hear, and feel the future as if it were already here. I hope this article has ignited the long-term thinking mentality in you.

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