Sometimes we can get discouraged about something in our life when we don’t take the proper length of view. Here’s what I mean: A lot of times in life, I take a short view. Maybe you can relate. I evaluate something in my life based on how it is going today, or this week. This is usually too short a window, because meaningful progress usually takes a long time. It’s better to evaluate something in your life using a longer window. For example, what progress have you made over the past year?
Getting in Shape
Back in high school, I made a commitment to lose weight and get in shape. I started running every day and got my diet on track. I remember looking at myself in the mirror at the end of that first week, and I saw absolutely zero difference. I felt discouraged. I was working so hard, but I wasn’t seeing any meaningful change. I felt the same way after one month. I didn’t see a difference, and I felt like maybe all my efforts were a waste of time. At the end of one year, however, I looked back and I had lost 60 pounds. My body had completely changed. But I only was able to see my progress when I took the long view.
Writing my Blog
I have had a similar experience with my blog. When I look at my reader statistics over the past year, my progress looks mostly flat, with some ups and downs. With the short view, it can be easy to get discouraged. I might even be tempted to quit. However, if I take the long view and look at my blog statistics from when I started, about 5 years ago, I see a clear trajectory of growth over time. But to see this, I have to take the long view.
Wanting a Quick Fix
We all want a quick fix, but most of the time this isn’t realistic. Change and progress are difficult, and they usually require consistent work put in over a long period of time. If you want something to change in a day, or a week, or even a month, you will likely be disappointed with your progress. You might even give up and quit when things aren’t progressing as fast as you would like.
Take the Long View
Resist this temptation. Commit to taking the long view. Put in the effort over a long period of time, and evaluate your progress in months and years, rather than days and weeks. If you take the long view, you might find that you are making progress toward your goal after all, even if it takes a bit longer than expected.