Natural time horizons are just that: natural. We all have a lens through which we view the world. It makes it easier for some to see 15–20 years in the future, while others more naturally see just 6–12 months down the road.
There are advantages to each view, of course, but the real trick is to know which one comes naturally to you.
Having a long time horizon is like having a telescope to see out into the universe. The picture is far away, full of possibility, and beautiful or dark, depending on how you focus the lens.
Have a short time horizon is like having a Polaroid camera to capture the moment in front of you. It’s delightful, real, and immediate. The photo that comes out of the camera is open to interpretation based on what you value and what’s on your mind right now.
If you know which one comes naturally, you can learn how to balance your natural view with the other side of the picture. A natural long-term viewpoint means it may be hard to understand how to get started today. A natural short-term viewpoint means it may be hard to plan for the future when you can enjoy so much in the here and now.
There’s no right answer, but you can’t have one without the other. Make sure you’re ready for both.
An assessment like the Highlands Ability Battery will give you perspective on your natural time horizon, along with a host of other insights. Knowing yourself is the easiest way to play to your strengths and surround yourself with people/tools/habits to compensate for your weaknesses.