23: Becoming proactive versus reactive

There are two different modes that we alternate between – our short term visions and our long term visions. The long term always appears more important because it seems more attractive at a quick glance. But when it comes down to it, both are extremely important to have in your business at any given time.


Let’s start with the long term vision. This is essential when it comes to your business because it keeps you in that mindful space of what you desire to create or achieve. It also makes you clear on what that “why” is, as well as defining the business you want to have and how it will support you in your life. What is your mission and what kind of impact do you want to create? These “big picture” ideas are fundamental.


The reason why a lot of people tend to lose their way or lose their excitement for growth is that they forgot what their long term vision was.


When this happens, it’s easy to start forgetting what it’s like to be passionate about that thing, or what that thing even is anymore. That connectedness that you felt towards a particular idea seems to fade. It’s ok; this happens – especially when we’re so stuck in our short term doings. But, it’s important to keep that long term vision in mind.


It’s about doing some activities now that may not derive immediate results, but they will be extremely beneficial in the long run.


You might have goals to write a book, create blog posts, start a podcast, or maybe do some specific guerrilla marketing tactics. These things might not necessarily produce immediate or massive results for you, but they can support you in your long term vision. All of this, of course, also depends on what your long term vision is, but it is powerful because it keeps you in that proactive space.


You’re moving towards something, and getting pulled in that direction versus chasing or being chased by something that needs to happen.


On the flip side, you do also need to have short term goals, and it is important that you keep this in mind. You can’t succeed exclusively on your scope of the big picture. If you’re only focusing on long term vision activities, it’s going to take you a while before you reach them. Sooner or later you’re going to run out of money, or you’re going to face something that is more urgent that’s happening right now – not somewhere down the road.


For example, one of the most common situations has to do with making money. You need to make sure your business is creating a profit now. Otherwise, you don’t really have a business. If you’re ignoring these critical short term activities right now, like making money, then eventually the money is going to run out and how will you support yourself?


If it was a book you were looking to write, this book might no longer come to fruition since you are going to be in a state of desperation at this point. Being overwhelmed and freaking out is not going to support you or get you where you need to go. It’s important that you keep both short term and long term visions in mind as you’re growing and moving forward with your business.


For most entrepreneurs, the reason they lose track of what’s important and where they’re going is that they focus too much on the short term. Their mindset is centralized around making money now and hustling just for the sake of it. It’s crucial to think further than just what needs to be done right now and also to be aware of how these smaller activities are supporting the end goals.


When you’re stuck in a short term way of thinking, it can often keep you short sighted and always chasing after the next big thing.


Short term visions are very often you reacting to things as they happen, and too much of this consistently can become draining. It is not conducive to creativity or stepping up and doing bigger things in the world.


Your long term vision is where you’re able to get into a proactive space and start thinking forward as well as planning ahead. As a leader of your life and of your business, it’s important to be proactive in making things happen. Focusing on every little thing that comes your way without an understanding of its contribution to the big picture will only delay your progress.


Let’s use weight loss for example. If you are nowhere near your goal right now, then you want to focus on the things that will support that process. This includes the things that don’t seem that great right now but are your short term visions that bring you closer to the main objective. But, if you’re only worried about short term activities, it will be harder to control yourself. For instance, when faced with a buffet or some delicious cupcakes.


Without that long term vision on the forefront of your mind, it’s really hard to give as much value to the short term goals that are meant to get you there.


Being proactive, thinking forward, expecting that things are going to come up, and knowing how you’re going to deal with them is what it’s all about. This is why having both short term and long term visions is so important. When you consider both and are aware that you’re always in one of these two modes, it’s going to support you so much more.


So, as you’re looking at your calendar and going over your to dos, look at how many of them are actually supporting you in the mode of being short term versus long term visions. How many of them are short term? If you’re like most people, about 90% of them or more are in this category. Be aware of where you’re placing your energy, and don’t be afraid to rearrange things in a way that supports you in creating the company and impact that you desire.