Long term plans can help us achieve the most amazing results.  While we really like the examples of overnight success, they rarely actually are.  We’re just looking at the results of thousands of decisions that have accumulated into the underdog, look they done good, hero story.  Excellence is rarely something that appears deus ex machina, it builds hour after hour, step by step, consciously or not so much, until it is fully formed and able to perform.

So long-term plans good.  But, plans that keep us from reality, that are inflexible or cage-like are bad.  They keep us from seeing opportunities along the way.  They are developed by the person we were then or are now, but cannot take into account who we will become except in the abstract as we cannot foresee who or what we will be.  And if we slavish in our focus on them we may achieve our goals and find we have lost ourselves in the process or become the opposite of who we wished to be.

Long term planning needs to factor in quality of life.  Because we aren’t here to achieve long-term goals alone.  The point of being here is to be here and if we’re aiming everything we are at some future now, we’ll lose all the nows between here and there, flushing this precious gift of life that we have for such a short time.  Long term plans need to include space for the medium term, the short-term, the now….and this now….and this other now….They need to realize they are sign posts, outlines which we will fill in with all the colors and details as we go along.  And they might get thrown out with the bath water if that’s what we need to do in order to make new plans which match who we are becoming.

If the long-term plans you have for yourself are something you’ve had for a while, something you just know you are headed towards no matter what, stop a minute, get the originals off that back shelf, blow the dust off them, and see if they are still relevant.  Do they need updating?  Do you need more life in your life plan?  Start adding in life, fill the plan in with color, get creative. You’ll be shocked at how much quality of life can be had while you’re achieving that long term goal….if you actually need it at all…