We play games everyday. And our favorite seems to be the short game – doing whatever gives us immediate gratification. But it’s delaying gratification in the long game that gives us our biggest win.
The short game is seductive because it offers immediate benefits. Why deny ourselves happiness today for only the promise of something better tomorrow?
On the other hand, the long game is the slow and boring investments for our future.
And these games are played throughout our life and relationships.
For example, in school, the short game is simply passing the test while the long game is actually learning the material.
In dating, the short game is the hookup culture while the long game is patiently becoming love even as we’re considering a lifetime commitment.
And with our money, the short game is the quick and easy buck while the long game is building wealth and leaving an inheritance for our families.
The long game requires sacrifices few are willing to pay. But payment is required either way. We either pay now or pay later.
For instance, when we don’t invest in relationships early, we eventually pay with bitterness, sadness, and isolation later. And we remain alone even when surrounded by others because we’ve not built meaningful bonds of connection.
The long game relationally is a million little things – small things that culminate and eventually create an undeniable bond that lasts throughout the years.
Life together is part of this long game. Even when daily life is pretty boring, we’re making small deposits of love for the future of our relationship.
It’s okay to play the short game in some areas. But the long game is needed in those areas that matter most.
Learn to play the long game in your life and relationships.