RULE 54: Think Long Term

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Akinwunmi Ambode, Accountant & Governor of Lagos State

At the same time as not fiddling too much (see Rule 53 of yesterday), so too you shouldn’t play the short game. You have to think long term, both in your planning, and in your expectations of a return. You also have to invest for the longer term. If you expect a rapid and sudden catapult into prosperity then go play the lottery and good luck to you (you’ll need it). Gaining wealth is a slow process and rightly so. If you get it all quickly you have no time to acquire experience and sense. Too quickly and it’ll be all ‘spend, spend, spend’.



Thinking long term is a bit like thinking in very fast motion while the rest of the world moves incredibly slowly around you. Softly, softly catchee monkey as they say. Ever tried to swat a fly? A fly’s eyes are different from ours and they basically see in fast forward. By the time you raise your hand; they have already predicted the movement and flown away. You have to develop the same ability. You have to see what’s happening before it happens and the only way to do that is to think long term. 
“Gaining wealth is a slow process and rightly so. If you get it all quickly you have no time to acquire experience and sense. Too quickly and it’ll be all ‘spend, spend, spend”
Think of gaining prosperity as stalking a reluctant tiger. It’ll be wary and cautious and you have to stalk it skillfully, quietly, almost lovingly. It’s no use running up and shouting at it - it will either turn round and kill you or run off. Better to take your time and creep up slowly and quietly. Any sudden movements will startle the canny beast.
In The Rules of Work 1 talked about having various plans in force - short-term, medium-term and long-term. The same is true for investments. You need short-term investments for money you might need access to in the near future; medium-term ones that you expect to deliver returns in five or ten years say; and then you need long-term investments that will reap greater rewards but that deliver in the more distant future.
I know in Rule 34 I said to be decisive and act quickly, and that is still true. But only after you have taken a long-term view; only after you have weighed and considered and pondered and evaluated. The samurai only makes one cut but that cut was an entire lifetime in the making.
Where are you going to be in five years’ time, prosperity-wise? Ten? Fifteen? Twenty? Longer?

From The Book; The Rules of Wealth by Richard Templar
(Read Rule 55 of Rule of Wealth tomorrow on Asabeafrika)


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