Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Long Game

One of my best friends is engaged to a guy who has been chasing her for years. From the get-go he was in pursuit of her affection, taking her out on dates, wooing her with his charm, trying to prove his character and the value he would bring to her life as Prince Charming. For years she shut him down, for one reason or another. She wasn't ready for a relationship, she couldn't see herself being with him and on the list went. He was sure, though. He was steady. In the end, the long game won out and now they're getting married. Or that's the short version anyway.

I'm an Aries, and even though Horoscopes are amusing, contradictory and vague at best, one of my traits as a Ram is that I'm not so good at the long game. I get excited about projects I want to start, I jump head first into the millions of possibilities I have playing out in my head. When I think about the future I think about the most obscure, random place I'd like to be; I think of being a documentary film maker in the Philippines or of working in development in Bolivia. I want to do this. I want to go there. If I was an Olympian I would be a sprinter, the one that took the lead early and didn't know how to finish. 

Let's face it though, life is a long game. Anything that is worth having usually takes a while to get. For the lucky few who score their first love, dream job and the awesome life they always wanted without breaking a sweat - kudos to you - for the rest of us plebians, there is good news and there is bad news. The bad news is that the long game is... you guessed it, long. An extended period of time that can seem eternal, depending on your patience levels (and horoscope, obviously!).

The good news is that the benefits of the long game are that life isn't just a string of brief sighs of temporary relief amongst a constant blur of mediocrity. The benefits of the long game are that you get where you want to be, eventually. Whether it's figuring out how to travel and work for the rest of your life or relocating to the other side of the globe, living on a house-boat or creating a social enterprise. The long game will get you there.

This is something I've been learning, slowly. Fighting my instincts to run away to far off pastures with little money and the idealistic notion that I'll do well as a busker and be fine living off the hospitality of strangers, I've "come to". The long game wins, it always wins. Anything else is a bandaid.

It's not to say that life has to be a ten year plan, just that once you know where you want to go or even where you don't want to (which is a good place to start) being prepared for the long haul is necessary. It took me a few years of meandering to get some sort of proper direction. Now that I've got a "True North" the Long Game has become the compass I live by. It's not always fun, it's frequently frustrating and tiresome but it's worth it.

I can't say what I'm going to be doing for the rest of my life, but I can say that for the places I want to go, the things I want to do I'm in it for The Long Game. It's not a bad tip for the dating world either, ladies and gentlemen. If you're willing to prove your worth, you might just get where you want to go.

As Seth Godin said,"Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from."

Because the best things worth having require commitment, time, passion and a lot of hard work. For my best friend her future husband didn't just show up one day out of the blue as some Knight in Shining Armour, he had to fight a lot of battles before he won her over. The Long games, ladies and gentleman, the long game.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sticking with the idea that its short and long at the same time. That you want to have a vacation and a job you don't need to escape from. I'm a believer that you can do two things at once.

    Ummm let's see how it works out.