The news cycle is short. It’s urgent. There will be more of it tomorrow which is deemed just as important. It’s a constant chug day after day.
Reading a book on the other hand is long. It’s slow and it’s lengthy. It requires focus and concentration for long periods of time. It takes discipline. But the end result? Typically a little more knowledge or another insight that may be cultivated that is lasting.
Social media tends to be short. It’s a quick browse. It’s just a matter of a scroll. There will be some videos that keep you attention. Keep you hooked. But they will be out of your memory and on to more content the next day.
Real socialization though is long. It’s the happy hour with friends. It’s the coffee with a colleague. It’s putting yourself in situation where you may not always feel comfortable, and you may not really always feel in control. But these are the moments we really remember. They contain the memories that last a lifetime.
It turns out this ark of the short vs. the long term is a choice we make daily. And it’s not an easy one. We often fall into the short term cycle. Because it’s more exciting and interesting. It’s easier to keep our attention. Less boredom and more entertainment. There is always something new and engaging to keep up with or we might just miss out.
The long term on the other hand. This is where the meaningful work lies. This is where the real change happens. This is where we sacrifice that short term dopamine hit for the long term feeling of satisfaction. Of pushing the general tilt of our lives towards happiness and fulfillment.
That’s mostly absent in the short term.
But the long term is made up of those short term choices we make each day. So we have to challenge ourselves each day to make the hard choice. And take the long view.
But the choice is up to you.
Long or short?