As you start out in life, you’ll be able to categorize many decisions and choices into two columns: the short game and the long game.
The short game is instant gratification, the something-for-nothing, get-rich-quick play, the thing you can have or do right now for (apparently) very little cost. Minor issues may be fine for this.
But beware if this becomes a habit. You don’t want to become known as a Short. The people Playing It Short are looking for every angle, every clever trick, every slick advantage in order to make the quick dollar, the extra dollar, the last dollar, right now. They lack perspective and are invariably insecure. Their gains are, by definition, short term. Lacking goodwill from the world they constantly hustle, if they fall on hard times, they quickly end up broke, and broken.
The long game is different. It’s delayed gratification, the investment of time and resources in a worthwhile, long term goal, the thing you have to work for.
Play The Long Game. You’ll be a richer person for it. And you’ll be a rich person longer. The things you accomplish as you endeavor on this path will endure and provide a deeper sense of satisfaction. The sacrifices will be forgotten, or savored in memory.
The Long Game Players you meet along the way will be more generous and more empathetic to you. They can afford to be: they aren’t scraping for the next quick buck. They advise wisely. They negotiate fairly. They share easily.
Why? Because they’re in it for the long haul, too.
Play the long game in your priorities. Health, education, family, financial independence…these things take time to develop and maintain, but the payoff is sterling.
Play the long game with your wardrobe. Invest in traditional-style, well-made clothing that will endure, oblivious to the whims of fashion.
Play the long game with your investments. Invest, rather than speculate. Look for steady gains and real value.
Play the long game with people. Know the difference between networking and developing relationships. Be sincere.
Old Money is a long game. Accept that fact, embrace it, and prosper.