It was in the film Fight Club where we hear Brad Pitt’s character Tyler Durden utter these existential words: “We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives.”
This existentialism or nihilism is very interesting and I see it common, especially in young men, today.
I myself have had this level of existentialism, where you’re asking yourself, what’s the point in it all?
The ‘our Great Depression is our lives’ quote is especially cutting and deep. It can really turn you into a state of ‘Fuck it’ nihilism, where you live expediently and go down a path of irresponsibility.
However, having tasted the fruits of that kind of behaviour, and having to bear the burdens that come with that afterward, it’s a very ugly picture where you go further down and down. Like an addict, who just acts expediently because the question ‘What’s the point?’ takes away from you further.
The funny thing is, there is an asymmetrical element of destruction. It may take a decade to amass a million dollars. It may take just one evening to lose it all.
It may take a year to build a great physique, but it may take two months to lose it all again.
Excellence takes time and is a gradual pursuit – nothing worth having is built overnight. But destruction can take everything away in a matter of moments.
With that very pessimistic statement, however, I guess we just have to swallow that truth.
So, after tasting the negative effects of ‘YOLO’ short term behaviour, I turned to take a path of long-term self-development, where I could become a better person and attract more into my life. Where I could build virtues.
Today, the average person may be expected to live to over 100 years old through medical advancements and progression, is fucking insane.
I’m 21 years old right now. It is very reasonable to suggest that I might live to 100 years old or older.
Therefore, instead of orienting my thinking to three months or six months, I should really be thinking about 3 years, 5 years, 7 years from now.
Now, obviously the further down the line you think, the less resolution your view of reality can be, so the more general you have to be.
Like Jordan Peterson says: ‘Make a Bad Plan.’
Truthfully, we never know the possibilities if we think long-term and orient ourselves to a higher version of ourselves.
The Longer Term You Can Think, the More Successful You Will Be
Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world at $108 billion in 2019, (who actually was worth more pre-divorce) says he makes decisions that will come into effect in quarters that will land three years from now.
Think of it, he is thinking three years ahead of time. By doing so, Amazon are able to have an influence on the market that no other company can have. While most companies are reacting to the present market, Bezos is planting seeds three years ahead of time that will come into fruition.
That’s fucking crazy.
To have that level of patience and foresight is crazy. Obviously, know one can see the future, but if you plan for it in the long-term you will be better off.
Which is why it is so much more important to delay gratification.
Check out this video on how Bezos views long-term thinking.