Balancing immediate versus long term concerns is a constant dance that we all have to play. On one hand I need to eat today to stay alive but on the other I need to eat healthy to avoid a heart attack 10 years from now. I need to do my work today to stay employed but I need to study new concepts to get better work down the road. I need to exercise today to wake my mind and body up but I need to exercise intelligently to avoid arthritis and joint replacement later.
The long haul dance is never ending and permeates everything we do. Being able to switch between immediate concern and long haul strategy thinking is something I struggle with constantly. It can lead to paranoia and analysis paralysis if too much attention is given to the long haul.
One strategy I employ is creating systems of thought that keep me on track for the long haul while allowing me to focus on immediate issues. For eating Kate and I adopted a plant based diet for numerous reasons. Besides being the ultimate virtue signal we don’t have to worry about our cholesterol as much. This doesn’t mean I get to eat endless Oreos though so I do still have to pay some attention.
Another strategy we have is the “double down”. This is the financial strategy that Kate and I came up with around our first wedding anniversary. She was having difficulty deciding whether to make a purchase or not. We decided that for discretionary spending we would not only need to have the cash on hand to make the purchase, but we would also need an equal amount of cash to place into a shared savings account. Hence the “double down” as you need to have double the purchase amount available to make the purchase.
The “double down” serves two purposes:
- That we have the cash to make the purchase and that the purchase is worth twice its cost.
- There is no arguing from the other person as the purchase gives them more cash in the shared savings account.
This strategy makes the purchaser reconsider the short term effects of the purchase, and adds to the long term savings plan of the group. By following this strategy we have been able to save considerable sums and also do better at avoiding unnecessary purchases.
I have written a bit about how important exercise is to me. The closer I am to doing something on a daily basis that raises my heart rate and gets me moving the better my mental attitude is for the day. Thats the short term effect, in the long haul this will help me avoid heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and a whole bunch of other illnesses that correspond with sedentary living.
The balance here is avoiding overuse injuries by not exercising too much or dangerously. Over the years I have had numerous injuries some of which occurred while exercising. As a result I have made a number of adjustments to my exercise routines. To begin I do not do Crossfit or anything involving dynamic/explosive movements with weights. My last knee injury was a direct result of this and that sucked. From that I also now avoid running further than a few hundred yards as my left knee has no more meniscus.
Today I only do low impact training on my bikes, indoor rowing machine, and controlled calisthenics like yoga and deliberate weight training.