Lately, I have spent a bit of time thinking about “what to work on next” and have come to a bit of a crossroads. Perhaps there is more intersectionality and overlap than I will give credit in this essay, but nonetheless, here is the challenge.

I think there are, super generally speaking, two types of thinking: micro and macro.

Micro are things we can change. Today, tomorrow, in the near term future. They are things we believe to be in our control.

Macro thinking refers to think on a much grander scale. Bigger missions. Roughly out of our reach. Long term impact.

We all have our own relative scale for how we determine between micro and macro things.

For me, micro things are side projects. They are these essays. They are revenue driven companies. They are getting an internship. They are helping a friend. They are impacting 10 people. Making $.

Macro things are more romantic, idealistic. They are building a company that affects millions. They are “changing the world” esque. They are revolutionizing schools systems. Changing people’s lives.

As you can imagine, the two sihlos *can* be connected. In theory, your micro actions affect your macro journey. But this is not always the case.

Sometimes you optimize for the short run, and give up long term potential. People make this excuse all the time. They do not do things in the short run because those things do not align with their long term goal. That makes sense. But at what cost?

Do you give up doing anything in the short term until you can figure out your long term?

How do you figure out your long term without doing in the short term? Which should we be thinking more about?

The challenge, and hardest part, is mapping a long term mission to actionable, short term things you can work on. I think that is, in theory, the solution.

But why is this so hard?

A) Our long term mission is a guess. Who knows if a) it will exist in 10 years or b) we will even care about it

B) Most things are not prescriptive. You cannot just follow a recipe to get to macro change. So it is hard and often times just a guess.

That is what I am working on — balancing the short and long term. How do you do it? Perhaps there is no long term without a short term.

Originally published at

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