How to Win at Everything

The Long Game

The Long Game

I don’t care what anyone says…

…I love the Fast and the Furious movies.

I remember the first one like it was yesterday. I was 16 years old, and it blew my face off.

I was so fired up I drove home in my parents white Chrysler mini van as if it were a suped up civic.

Cars, women, fighting, and music. They checked all the boxes.

Since then, I’ve seen every Fast and Furious movie the week they’re released. At 32 years old, they still light me up the same way they did 16 years ago.

Now, I understand these movies seem to appeal to the primitive senses only, with all the short skirts and flashy cars, but they do sneak some valuable lessons into the plot.

In the most recent movie, Dom saw his little cousin’s car being hooked up to be towed, so he stepped in to see how he could put a stop to it.

They settled it the only way that makes sense…

….racing for pink slips.

After a few times around the block, the race ended in a fiery explosion with Dom as the winner.

The loser of the race made good on the deal and handed Dom his keys.

“You have my car, and you have my respect.”

Dom pushed the keys back towards him.

“Your respect is good enough for me.”

If this isn’t the most fiscally irresponsible decision I’ve ever seen. How could he turn down the car he raced for and be happy about this decision?

Because Dom is smart, and he plays the long game.

Later on in the movie, Dom gets some crucial help from the guy he beat in the race. With his help, Dom would never have been able to prevent world war III (Yup, it’s that serious)

The Long Game Isn’t the Best Way to Win. It’s the Only Way to Win

This strategy doesn’t just apply to preventing nuclear armageddon. It applies to everything.

In business and relationships, giving more than the other person is an unbeatable long-term strategy.

Giving away time, money, or valuable information may not always make sense in the short-term, but it often ensures your long term success.

And once you realize this, the process of getting in shape makes more sense. Fitness is a long game, but so many view it in the short term.

If you make your decisions based on the short-term returns, you’re making it almost impossible to win in the long term.

If you’re making diet/exercise decisions based on the short term, they’re almost always going to be the wrong decisions.

Here’s what I mean.

  • Often people will take on a diet plan that’s unsustainable long-term, causing them to crash, burn, and become discouraged.
  • People also tend to take their training program from 0–1000. Not only is it unsustainable long term, it usually leads to injury.
  • Recovery is often neglected during short term approaches to fitness. This causes an accumulation of stress, both physical and mental. Eventually this will manifest as an injury or burnout.

Short Term Discipline for Long Term Gain

“Stoicism is an ancient Greek philosophy (developed by Zeno of Citium around 300 B.C. as a refinement of Cynicism) which teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions.” — Philosophybasics.com

Any worthwhile goal will require short term discipline. Adopting a long-term mindset is crucial to building the lean, athletic body you’re after.

Eating the chocolate cake, or skipping the gym to polish off your Orange is the New Black marathon… these are decisions with short term benefits.

The cake provides an explosion of mouth-pleasure, and the Netflix marathon allows you to avoid the effort of working out while staying in your underwear all day. You get these benefits immediately.

But both decisions provide no long term benefit. They actually hinder your ability to accomplish your long term goals.

Note: I have no gripe with eating some chocolate cake now and then. This is just an example

The ability to temporarily postpone pleasure for a bigger, more substantial long-term goal is a powerful skill. Like any skill, it takes daily practice.

Take an honest audit of your daily decisions. Are any of them based on short-term benefit at the expense of your long term goal? If so, start there, and practice making one good long-term decision each day.

Everything worth accomplishing takes time. The long game isn’t the best way to win. It’s the only way to win.


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