THE FARSIGHTED PERSPECTIVE. How to stop thinking in the present moment
The biggest weakness people have is “impatience” and we can see that everywhere around us. As technologies are evolving, people become more and more attracted by the immediate gratification, they become unable to think of the future and to see the consequences of their actual actions. But as we grow up and as time pass, we begin to notice the absurdity of some of our past behaviors. We develop a clear perspective of how things had been and what kind of motivation other people had. Then we often regret our reactions because it was inappropriate.
A clever man must be able to think of the future before reacting. He must always think about the consequences his actions can have in the future. He has to develop patience, to take time to think about the implication before reacting or taking important decisions.
This ability to think of the future before reacting is called “the farsighted perspective”.
In the book “The Laws of Human Nature”, Robert Green suggests some practices that help us develop the farsighted perspective.
Firstly, when we face a problem or an opportunity, we must detach ourselves from the present moment and calm down our excitement or fear. We must take some distance.
Secondly, we start to deepen and widen our perspective by considering the nature of the problem we are confronting (we are facing) and the motivation of people involved instead of thinking immediately about explanations or taking an immediate conclusion. We must imagine as best as we can the possible consequences of actions or strategies we are contemplating.
According to Robert Green, the ability of people to think of the present moment by searching for instant gratifications has a profound source in our human nature. Our ancestors developed that ability to survive and respond automatically to danger such as an animal attack, an attack by another clan, etc., and to prioritize the biological need such as hunger, sexual desire, etc.
In the modern world this ability help to explain why people do think such as smoking, drinking, etc. even if they know the consequences of these practices on their future.
To develop the farsighted perspective, we must distance ourselves from the present, we must take a deeper look at the source of problems, we must widen our perspective on the overall context of the situation and we just took a further into the future including the consequences of our actions and our long-term priorities.