Short-term over Long-term Objectives

“Sadly, most of us often prefer immediately gratifying short-term experiences over our long-term objectives. We routinely behave as if sometime in the future, we will have more time, more money, and feel less tired or stressed. “Later” seems like a rosy time to do all the unpleasant things in life, even if putting them off means eventually having to grapple with a much bigger jungle in our yard, a tax penalty, the inability to retire comfortably, or an unsuccessful medical treatment. In the end, we don’t need to look far beyond our own noses to realize how frequently we fail to make short-term sacrifices for the sake of our long-term goals.”

“In a perfectly rational world, procrastination would never be a problem. We would simply compute the values of our long-term objectives, compare them to our short-term enjoyments, and understand that we have more to gain in the long term by suffering a bit in the short term. If we were able to do this, we could keep a firm focus on what really matters to us. We would do our work while keeping in mind the satisfaction we’d feel when we finished our project.”

Ariely, Dan. “The Upside of Irrationality.”

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