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  • Writer's pictureDave Driver

The Short Game versus The Long Game

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

When making a decision in the moment—and aren’t all decisions initiated in some moment of time—you can make it based on short term thinking or long term thinking. You can play the short game or you can play the long game.

The long game has both foundation and growth in mind and is not drawn into the short game. The short game, on the other hand, has only now in mind and—unwittingly or otherwise—disregards the long game. A short game really should be reserved for life or death situations in order to preserve the promise of a long game.

Short games are likely to be reactions and tend to lean into impatience.

Long games are most likely responses that tap into both patience and foresight.

If you find yourself reacting in the short game more than you believe is productive, don’t fret. Take a breath, then picture what you honestly want to be true down the road. Once you have that picture in your mind, breathe again and move that image into your body. From there, breathe a third time to form your response with that future in mind. Do this each and every time.

The short game versus the long game. It is not a matter of which game will get you there faster or better. It is simply the acknowledgement that only one game will get you there at all.


Dear reader, here is your homework:

  1. Make a long-game list

    1. Include those instances where your long game has served you and others well.

    2. Include those instances where it has not.

  2. Make a short-game list

    1. Include those instances where your short game has served you and others well.

    2. Include those instances where it has not.

  3. Make a transition list

    1. Include items that need to be moved from your short game to your long game.

Dear reader, here is your LIFE work.

  • Take a breath every day, each instance, and actively move your short game into your long game.

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