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How to play the long game | Community


We all know the drill. You wake up everyday and try your best to finish your to-do list, be a good person and keep all the balls in the air. But in your few quiet moments, behind the feeling of being overwhelmed, he is there.

It’s that nagging feeling that the world is overtaking you and that you’re so busy trying to deal with pressing issues that you’ve overlooked the things that are really important to you.

You’re not alone. We are all pushed to the limit and the feeling of being constantly late is now the norm.

The question for many of us is, how can we break out of this never-ending cycle and create the kind of interesting and meaningful life that we all seek?

When Dorie Clark, a great business thinker and professor at Duke University, broached this question, she was on a treadmill of constant travel, early alarms, and long days which (although very productive and seemingly successful) were inwardly exhausting and less than emotionally satisfying. As a consultant and executive coach, she was also seeing a similar trend among her clients.

It seemed that no one had time to breathe.

In the opening of his new book, “The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-term World,” Clark describes his own turning point, being awakened by an early morning alarm in the face of another difficult week. future. . “All I had to do was get my body to conform. I knew I could do anything. I had to do it, ”she said.

The week (back-to-back meetings, trips and multiple requests) went off without a hitch. But in that early morning darkness, she remembers, “I felt a quick stab. For a moment, before I could pack it down, I felt lonely. For a moment, I wondered why I had decided that my life should be like this.

With this openness, Clark steers readers toward solving the impending, often unspoken, problem of our time: Why should any of us live this way?

In “The Long Game,” Clark explains why, while we all know intellectually that lasting success (personal and professional) takes persistence and effort, much of the relentless pressure of our culture drives us to do this. which is easy, which is guaranteed or which looks glamorous at the moment.

COVID and lockdowns may have eliminated constant travel, but for many, the speed of the treadmill has worsened. The endless loop between your desk, your bed, and your video camera has become more exhausting than a red-eyed flight.

Drawing a parallel with a widely observed macroeconomic problem, Clark writes: “Just as CEOs who maximize quarterly profits often fail to make the strategic investments for long-term growth, so do our personal and professional lives. “

Part of a personal journey, two parts of practical application, “The Long Game” offers concrete strategies to create more white space in your life and focus where it matters. As a reader, I have found myself rethinking some of my long-held notions of success and recognizing new opportunities to reinvent myself.

Clark is refreshingly candid about his own successes (including a seven-figure income) as well as his failures (several stinging rejections). By combining the personal (how to spend more time with people who bring out the best in you) with the professional (rethinking failure and strategic patience), she approaches life holistically, focusing on the dual needs we all have for economic success and a meaningful connection.

Clark says, “Everyone has the same 24 hours, but with the right strategies, you can leverage those hours more effectively and more powerfully than you ever imagined.

“The Long Game” goes beyond the usual mundane waking up an hour earlier, color-coding your to-do list suggestions and instead focusing on concrete things you can do today to further your bigger ambitions. life.

The pace of work and life is unlikely to slow down, or that there are mandatory breaks for strategic thinking. Ultimately, the only way to live the life we ​​really want for ourselves is to take the time to create it.

No matter where you are right now, there is still a part of your life in front of you, probably a big part. You can spend your time on short-term reactions, trying to get to Friday. Or you can resist the pull of our ever-urgent culture and decide that you are here to play a much longer game.

– Lisa Earle McLeod is a leadership consultant and author of several books. For more information about his company, visit McLeodandMore.com.

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