#1448 Successful People

Are Long-Term Thinkers

In our last +1, we talked about some Aristotelian wisdom (delivered via Brian Tracy and confirmed by Tom Morris and Sonja Lyubomirsky) on the fact that we are teleological beings.

Telos = Targets. 🎯

To recap: Ancient wisdom and modern science agree…

Eudaimonically flourishing human beings have clear TARGETS.

Do you?



Today we’re going to continue our exploration of wisdom from Brian Tracy’s great book No Excuses!

Note: If you want some more old-school self-development wisdom from Mr. Tracy, check out our Notes on Maximum Achievement, Eat that Frog!, Focal Point, and Goals!

He tells us: “In other words, the most successful people are long-term thinkers. They look into the future as far as they can to determine the kind of people they want to become and the goals they want to achieve. They then come back to the present and determine the things that they will have to do— or not do—to achieve their desired futures.”

Long-term thinking.

Not only is it a key to success, it’s also a key to happiness.

Two things I want to highlight here: 1) The ability to delay gratification; and, 2) The importance of coherence.

First, delaying gratification.

We talk about this in the Note on Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. (And The Marshmallow Test by Walter Mischel and… Other places. 🤓)

Quick re-cap: Kids were tested in a lab and offered a choice: two marshmallows if they could wait until the experimenter ran an errand or one if they wanted it immediately.

Whether they were able to delay gratification or not as a FOUR-year old was a greater predictor of their SAT score than IQ. 😲 🤯 !!!

As Goleman says: “There is perhaps no psychological skill more fundamental than resisting impulse.”

Then there’s the importance of coherence among our goals.

We know that having long-term and short-term goals that “line up” and are “coherent” is super important for our overall happiness.

As Jonathan Haidt tells us in The Happiness Hypothesis: “The psychologists Ken Sheldon and Tim Kasser have found that people who are mentally healthy and happy have a higher degree of ‘vertical coherence’ among their goals—that is, higher-level (long term) goals and lower-level (immediate) goals all fit together well so that pursuing one’s short-term goals advances the pursuit of long-term goals.”

Back to Brian Tracy who tells us: “Successful people make sure that everything they do in the short term is consistent with where they want to end up in the long term. They practice self-discipline at all times.”

That’s Today’s +1.

Here’s to the Self-Mastery that gives us the power to delay gratification while pursing coherent goals.

Know this…

Done right, somewhat paradoxically, nothing is more instantly enjoyable than that.

Day 1. All in.


P.S. For a practical demonstration of how I personally set goals for 2023 AND for 2025, 2030 and 2051, you may enjoy this video.

P.P.S. We have a longer chat on the subject of how to ENJOY the whole process of actualizing NOW in a +1 called Flow Junkies: How to Attain Superyou Mastery Sans Misery inspired by Steven Kotler’s The Rise of Superman.

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