The Next Five Minutes

“In the long term, what I want to do is…”

And then the person finishes that sentence by saying something totally different than what they’re doing right now and have done for the past several years.

When, exactly, does “the long term” start? It’s not a date on a calendar. “The Long Term” doesn’t officially begin on September 20th, 2024. The Mayans didn’t predict its coming on a big stone disk. It’s not discrete.

In fact, “the long term” only exists in the past. You can only figure out what you did in the long term by looking back on it. When looking forward in time, the long term is just whatever you do in the next five minutes, over and over again forever.

There’s no year that isn’t made up of the days within it. There’s no space between those days where “the long term” happens. Your destiny is just you showing up for a great day, over and over.

You can make one day great. You can absolutely nail the next five minutes. You have so much control over those short bursts that the only reason you don’t exercise it is because you think it doesn’t matter.

“Sure, I’ll lay around and drink beer and watch TV today, but in the long term I want to get healthy and work on restoring that classic car.” That’s what people say – what they think. That “today” is somehow separate from “the long term.”

The long term starts at the end of this sentence; go get it.

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