The Dangers of Short-term Thinking

Yes, yesterday is gone, tomorrow’s not promised, and all we have is today. But do we know how to appreciate this reality or do we use it as an excuse?

It is often said that we should always live for today and enjoy life. Why? Because tomorrow is not promised. But depending on where we are mentally, these words of wisdom can have different meanings from one individual to another. Depending on how much thought we put into this doctrine, such words will lead some of us into doing much of nothing and for others, these words could mean doing all that can be done. Live for today. Enjoy life. What do these words really mean to you?

When you hear someone say, ‘live for today’, yet you suffer from the danger of short-term thinking, you will allow yourself to believe there’s no need to plan for the future. You will make daily decisions as if  they will have no bearing on the days ahead if you should perhaps live another day; and likely, you will. It can become the strong-hold habit of looking for the perfect excuse to refrain from any planning for the days, weeks, months and years ahead. Your idea of ‘living for today’ is geared more towards letting yourself off the hook of anything meaningful or anything productive. Your idea is wrapped around the things you don’t have to do as opposed to seeking opportunities that will allow you to make progress in life.

For those who have been plagued with the ability to only think short-term, to ‘enjoy life’ will also find its meaning on the less productive side of life. Some will find it to mean to only do what’s easy and fun. Enjoying life will always be equated only to having fun and to anything that doesn’t require the need for any critical thinking or serious decision-making. It will mean to put off thinking about the future at all. Why? Because tomorrow’s not promised. With this way of thinking and the all-around danger of short-term thinking, you will always be deceived into believing so many things don’t matter and will continuously find yourself in the same place, mentally, year after year after year. This inhibited mentality will be the true reflection of your progress in life, or lack thereof.

But for those who know how to control the deceit of short-term thinking, ‘living for today and enjoying life’ both take on entirely different meanings. To ‘live for today’ will mean making valuable use of every single day. You will know the importance of taking the necessary steps in life that will prepare you for whatever  is to come in the days and even years to come. The wisdom of enjoying life will unfold as the opportunity to use what God has already given you instead of praying for Him to do every single thing. To ‘enjoy life’ will mean to have the courage to share with the world, the talents and gifts God has bestowed upon you. And when these meanings take place in your life, such thinking will carry you when times get tough. Such thinking will allow you to prepare for a rainy day, whether it be financially, mentally, or emotionally.

The greatest detriment to those who suffer from the dangers of short-term thinking, is that their decisions will always be made based only on the outcome they can see.  Short-term thinkers only react based on what they know for sure will happen, therefore, a true sense of preparation for the future will never take place in their lives. The life of a short-term thinker will likely never change because it lacks the wisdom to plan ahead, think ahead, and prepare. These are the steps it will take to ever see any transformation for the better. Only when we begin to make better decisions simply because it’s the right thing to do and not just when we think we know what the outcome will be, is when the better decisions will pay off in our lives.

Better decisions always pay off in the long run when you truly understand and live by the most powerful and effective meanings behind the wisdom to ‘live for today’ and ‘enjoy life’. What do these words mean to you? If you dare to reflect on the meanings by which you choose to live, within your interpretation, you will see a true reflection of the life you’re living today.


Tawana R. Powell

Author of “Life Fulfilled, The Ultimate Goal” (

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