Last night my husband reminds me to “take the long view.”
When something goes wrong (a boring class, an argument with a friend, a dieting failure, a rejection from an agent, a poor parenting choice. . . I could go on and on), I tend to make catastrophic statements:
Everything is horrible! I’m a disaster! I’m the worst parent ever! I’m quitting! I’m never writing another book! I’m the worst friend ever! Things will never get better!
I could win an academy award for drama.
“Take the long view,” my husband says as I bury myself either in the pillow, in the bubbles in the bathtub, or in my own crossed arms.
The long view? What’s the long view? He reminds me that this is just one moment–one day–and that I have to think of my life in terms of months and years and even decades.
“Ride this wave out,” he advises while making big wave motions with his hand. “Take the long view.”
It turns out that people who know how to take the long view succeed. I read interviews of business leaders who knew how to take the long view and not seek short term profit. I read about persistence, about vision, and about focus on the future. Small failures and setbacks become part of a larger picture.
I read about families who take the long view with debt reduction and savings. I think about everything from community organizing to weight loss. I think about blogging and motherhood and even gardening. I think about ministry.
When I take the long view, I’m not caught up in today’s catastrophe or short term win. Instead, I lift my head up and remember my long term goal. I’m growing into a beautiful thing that reflects the glory of a Creator. Over time, my marriage, parenting, friendships, writing, teaching, and ministry get better and better. Small bumps in the road are just that: bumps in the road. But I’m still on the road, and I can see a glorious destination.
Have you learned to “take the long view?”
This is great, Heather. I was just thinking about how we shouldn't fear failure. Too often I try to insulate myself from it, but I forget that failure is often the best catalyst for growth.
Just read this and thought it was good: http://www.fastcompany.com/1826976/the-dirty-little-secret-of-overnight-successes
Yes, taking the “long view” is great practice.
A great article!! Thank you Pink Dryer Lint! Thank you!
Thanks Heather! I needed to hear this today.
PS I think your blog is awesome. I come here everday and always leave feelig refreshed. Thanks.