Short Term vs Long Term

Anil has recently started his classes to teach investing to young inspiring students. One day he is visited by a reputed stockbroker. The stockbroker starts talking about his son. The son has just completed his graduation and is planning to pursue his MBA abroad after taking some experience. He has even done some course on making complex algorithms.

Anil to the Son: ‘beta, how was the course you did on algorithms for trading in the stock market?”

Instead of the son, the stockbroker replies.

Stockbroker: He has already wasted one lakh rupees on some useless course, he has earned nothing from it. Now he says, he wants to pursue an MBA abroad. Now he wants to waste around 50 Lakh rupees. He just loves to burn my money.

This statement leaves Anil in a state of utter shock. Once the stockbroker leaves. Anil starts to doze off in his chair thinking about what the reputed broker said. Then in his dreams, he calls the wise man.

Anil: Dear wise man, what just happened? How has the world become?

The wise man (TWM) speaks with a mild smile on his face.

TWM: This is not something new. That man is similar to you.

Anil: How can you compare him to me? Have you seen his thinking?

TWM: Tell me why did you join the stock markets?

Anil: To earn some money and become rich. I wanted to earn approx Rs 10k-20K daily so I joined the markets. That would make me earn a decent monthly income.

TWM:  Even you were driven by the dream to earn monthly income. So you got that. Similarly, that man wants his son to do the same.

Anil Speechless lost in his thought.

Anil: Yes but why do we all think like this.

TWM: It’s simple you always have a choice between short term and long term. Even you know by having the dream to earn certain daily income, will land you nowhere, you need to have a grand vision. Thinking about vision is long term while getting yourself certain monthly income to satisfy your basic needs is short term. If your family is hungry at home long-term thinking would end you nowhere. You need to have a balance of both.

But the problem is most of us love to overweigh short-term events. This has happened due to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. As if a tiger was standing in front of you, you better think short-term fast for your survival else long-term thinking would land you in his tummy.

Anil giving a lost look. Thinking the wise man has lost it.

Think about how much time do you spend on your mobile on facebook vs reading some book. Though Facebook is good, there needs to be some balance.

How much time do you spend in your office doing useless things like gossiping?

Anil gives an ashamed look

How much of your daytime is spent on developing some long-term skills? If you carefully analyze you will find that major part of the time of your day is spent on short-term things like replying to emails, gossiping, getting a petty task done, etc.

Then at the end of the week comes your happy Friday, when you are so much stressed from work. You always have the option of eating vegetables (long-term health) or drinking beer (short-term health).

Another problem comes we love things which give us instant results. I will give you a situation and you may think,

What is the difference between earning

(1) Rs 24 lakhs at the end of two years vs (2) earning Rs 2 lakh at the end of each month for two years

Though you will have the same money, you will have widely different emotions during both journeys. Short term and long term are largely dependent on individual circumstances of a person.

Let me explain you with another example, think the first time you started getting early in the morning. For first few days it pained a lot, your brain tried every effort to stop you. Most of the people thinking this view their immediate comfort and are unable to wake up early. You can see a similar pattern when you start learning any new sport or game or start developing a new habit. You will observe that most people join an activity for summer and by the time its winter most people have already left it.

There are very few who continue for years. Consistency is long term. By seeing the short term comfort in leaving the activity most people are unable to consider the long-term benefits of such pain.

Every situation or decision has a short-term and long-term impact, it is your responsibility to choose wisely.

Suddenly, there is a knock on the door and Anil wakes up from his dream. It is his close friend who has come to him for gossip of a competitor. He forgets his dream and is deep into gossip enjoying the chat.

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