Short Game vs Long Game
Planning for the future while making small bets along thew way.
Sometimes, you should play the short game.
Do you see a problem in your community, at work, or at home? Do you have an idea to fix it? Try something quickly that doesn’t require a lot of resources. And be clear with yourself and others that you’re trying something to learn as much as you can about the issue and your concept. Once you’re done, pause and assess if you should continue.
Other times, you might play the long game…
Do you have a vision of a future that requires an entirely new system? Do you have an idea to create change that seems grand and important? Awesome, the world needs your energy and commitment. Paint a clear vision of where you’re going, build good teams, and pace yourself along the way.
A lot of people just play the short game, and they don’t play it well. They get excited about an idea, start down a path, realize how difficult it is, get tired, and then shut down without learning very much. It’s rarely clear if they stopped on purpose or if they quit, so it often seems like they wasted time and money.
And other people, albeit a smaller number, try to play the long game but get lost along the way. They eventually run out of resources (time, money, team, etc) and shut things down. They were never clear about which bets they were making, and how to reassess if they were still on the right track.
The reality is you need to play both. Most great things take time. So decide which things you value and believe should exist in the world and start playing the long game. As you pursue that thing, break it down into small projects and bets to help you learn, grow, and try new things along the way — all in the name of the long game.
What problem(s) are you currently trying to solve? What are the small bets you’re making? And have you been clear with yourself and others about which is which?
Have a great Wednesday,
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