As I type this article it’s a long weekend here in Canada and guess what? I’m one of the few 20somethings that isn’t going away or doesn’t have anything crazy planned. How is it possible that I can stay home all weekend and remain positive? Thinking about the “bigger picture” and the long term is what keeps me going. Now you must thinking “wow I’ve never heard that before,” so don’t worry I won’t end the article by saying to think about the bigger picture. Instead I will share a few tactical tips related to how college students can use long term thinking to get ahead:
Talk to successful people in the field.
Recently I have been communicating with a middle aged man that is working in my field of choice and it has really improved my long term thinking. Speaking with him and listening to what kind of life he has really motivates me to stay in school. Learning about how much he loves his job and about how all of the hard work was worth it when he got that first major break. He also speaks very fondly of his experiences when he bought his first home for his family. Hearing about positive results is fine but you need to speak to a real human being that has “been there and done that.” This pretty much ties into the concept of finding a mentor.
Plan something to look forward to.
As unproductive as this may sound I love to plan vacations for my breaks from school so that I have something to look forward to. As a 20something college student it’s important that you have something pushing you through those all night study sessions or exam weeks where you must write 5 exams in a row. For me the motivation to get through is traveling some where new, what’s your motivation?
Think about that first major purchase.
I know that material possessions shouldn’t be used as motivation for working but put it this way- if you can make tons of money doing something you enjoy, then why not reward yourself with certain possessions? Whether you dream of one day owning a boat or better yet a cottage with a boat dock, it should help you get through the tough times.
Think about more than just money.
Yes I know I’ve mentioned money as a motivational term for long term thinking but once those thoughts dry up you need something more intrinsic. This could be the feeling of working a job that makes a difference (reason why my friend wants to be a Firefighter), working a job that keeps you challenged, or even the thought of being the first person in your family to obtain a formal education (this keeps me going through college).
How has long term thinking helped you get ahead? I really want to read about some of your experiences about when you were done and thinking about the bigger picture got you motivated.