Friday, May 11, 2007

long term, short term

there's a sort of paradox in everyday thinking that i'm trying to come to grips with. it's the debate between thinking long term and short term. as it is, i've had experiences that support both.

for example, much financial wisdom says that you should look toward the long term. "invest for retirement" is something i see alot in all kinds of money magazines and stock advisors. there are ads everywhere that talk about how a house is a good investment (in most areas of the country) and will help you retire early.

retire?? i'm just getting started.

that's when i start to think that long term thinking can't be too useful when you're young. even in the microcosm of taekwondo, sometimes it can be harmful. when i start thinking too much about how i'll fight in the finals, i end up losing in the first round. it's funny, when i fought at kansas city i thought i was going to have only one match because dana willoughby or whatever was such a tall bantamweight. but having that mindset actually helped me get past him. hm.

but living only on the short term is no good, either. if you live paycheck to paycheck, at the end of the year you realize, out of tens of thousands of dollars in income, you've saved up around $500. wtf? where did it all go? those carnitas burritos and shots at the bar don't serve any purpose for you now, do they?

and also, for taekwondo, if i'm thinking ok i'll train this week for this weekend's tournament, and then relax next week, over the course of the season i've only improved one week's worth total. because i've only been training for that NEXT week. so for taekwondo i HAVE to think long term. like, how do i make myself awesome enough to win matches at senior nationals this year? how do i train so that my health is good in general, and not just binge lose and gain weight? how do i PURCHASE airline tickets early so they don't cost me $200 more than they should?

but then i find that long term thinking hurts me every day. on wednesday i had so much shit in my mind. like, "thursday we have to have demo practice. saturday i have to go to LA. next weekend i have to help ucsd's tournament all weekend. then there's some korean competition, and fresno. i have no weekends anywhere. no time to relax!!!" subsequently the stress of the next MONTH were all crammed into my head for that afternoon, and i ended up not being able to do work. thirty six hours later, most of that stress was gone because the demo practice went well, and as a result none of the other things seem really stressful anymore.

so what should it be? long term, short term, mid term? (and you STUDENTS complain about midterms...hah)

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