There are only so many hours in a day. A long term perspective gives your more elbow room to stretch your imagination and timeline to get on track.
A longer timeline is beneficial when creating almost anything. It does not matter if it is a brand, business, skill or even down to "just" improving your health. Days are short decades are not.
I find it tough to stay at peak productivity continuously. My To-do lists are rarely fully crossed out. It took me a long time to notice my cycle of unrealistic targets and the unnecessary disappointment not hitting them generates.
While it is a requisite to have ambition and goals on a general level, the core of your focus should shift almost totally to the practice and process once the desired outcome is determined.
Process vs Outcome.
The more significant the desired outcome is, the longer the journey before attainment. This fact is the part that is either skipped or masterfully relayed in a high paced montage.
Oddly this is where the nuances of earning mastery lie.
To improve in any aspect of life, you have to invest time. The time you invest correlates directly to your results. Conversely, the quality of the time you invest naturally fluctuates, triggering bursts of progress followed by plateaus.
The plateaus are the killers of consistency. The death of consistency is the death of habit. The death of habit is the slow killer of progress towards any worthwhile goals.
In Mastery, George Leonard describes the harmonious relationship with the plateau that we all should strive for:
"To love the plateau is to love the eternal now, to enjoy the inevitable spurts of progress and the fruits of accomplishment, then serenely to accept the new plateau that waits just beyond them. To love the plateau is to love what is most essential and enduring in your life."
"If you stay on the path long enough, you’ll find it to be a vivid place, with its ups and downs, its challenges and comforts, its surprises, disappointments, and unconditional joys. You’ll take your share of bumps and bruises while travelling — bruises of ego as well as of the body, mind, and spirit — but it might well turn out to be the most reliable thing in your life."
Long term games are not just sunshine and rainbows though. There is a certain amount of guessing and iterating as reality comes into play too. All the hard work in the world can't and will never beat things out of your control.
Guessing and learning from failure do seem to be the best way forward.
Identify the goal, refine it and archive it. Then trust the process and cherish the plateaus. No goal is worthwhile just for its own sake. The reward is the process of becoming the person deserving of said goal.
By nature cultivating and then proceeding to monetize your creativity is a long term game. Creativity is forged by linking what you can do now to what you aim to engineer in the future.
Last but not least.
The compound interest that originates from playing long term games with long term people is the most potent.
“Play iterated games. All returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge come from compound interest.” - Naval