The eighth principle in my willpower series states:
Adopt a long-term perspective!
This may sound trivial because the very definition of willpower implies a long-term perspective. However, I’ve found it helpful many times to explicitly imagine the long-term effects of the decisions I make in life. I’ve applied this strategy in two different ways:
1) I consider the process I put into motion by choosing instant gratification
I condition myself to take the easier path.
I wall myself into an attitude of weakness.
I enforce the habit of not exerting willpower.
I program my brain to not achieve greatness.
2) I picture how my future will look life if I choose instant gratification
I’ll be fat, poor, and faithless
while I go about my ever-mediocre life.
I’ll grow old without achieving most of my dreams.
I’ll die without having lived the way I wanted to live.
I’ll be remembered as a commonplace losel,
or not be remembered at all.
How to think long-term
Every decision you take matters.
Every action you take matters.
The actions you’ve already taken today don’t matter anymore.
Attach yourself to neither failures nor successes!
The actions you virtuously plan to take later don’t matter now.
Never postpone your strength!
The action you take in this very moment is the only action that matters.
Always follow your True Will!