The Long Game Plan

When we compare the kind of mindset it takes to be successful, against that of successful failure, (we only ever succeed at failing) we reduce the margin for error. People who regularly achieve success in their personal and business lives, do so, through their ability to plan. There are short term, medium term, and long term plans. Playing the long game is all about long term plans.

Think of what it takes to knit a jumper. The first thing we must do is work to a plan. We have the body of the jumper, front and back, we then have the sleeves and the neck. All in all, there are five elements. When knitting the separate parts to our jumper, it does take some imaginative skill, to see it as a complete garment.

One thing to consider at this point is, we don’t actually need to be able to see the complete garment in our minds eye, all we need is a plan that will eventually bring all the parts together

It’s a little like modern airliners that are made in different factories in different parts of the world. At some point in the future, all the separate parts are brought together, and assembled to make a complete plane. The person making a wing, doesn’t need concern himself with how the plane will look once completed, neither does he need to know how to build the engine. His job, is to construct the wing, and that’s it.

In the same respect, when it comes to business, or personal lives for that matter, we must take each element and focus on them individually for the greatest success. Compartmentalization is the ability to focus on one aspect of the plan, to the exclusion of all other aspects, until it comes to the final assembly.

Keeping our minds in the present moment means we do lose sight of the outcome of our long term plans

There is a benefit to this in respect of us breaking things down into their component elements; being in the moment means we focus on that single element at that moment in time.

When working in this manner, the day to day, or moment to moment elements of any long term plan, may seem trivial and insignificant. When the results of each day are fairly small, compared to the eventual outcome, we can become disheartened. Even though this is the case, we must be cautious with how much time we spend with our minds in places, other than the present moment.

The long term goal, as with our jumper or plane, is for all the individual elements to finally come together. If we distract ourselves too much with this aim, we may fail. Especially if the long term plan is something that covers a good number of years.

So to sum up. When there are many elements, long term goals, must be planned and executed separately. By keeping our minds in the now moment, once a plan has been drawn up, we ensure each element is completed to the best of our abilities. Spending too much time, envisioning how things will look at the end of the term, can be disheartening and counterproductive.

Personal development can be seen as an important first element to any plan

Be it improvements needed in our personal lives or our business lives, understanding how best to use our time and attention, means greater success all round. Ultimately, the clearer the plan, and the time span decided for it, the more efficiently we use our valuable time.