Jan 12, 2014

The Long View

Due to extenuating circumstances, I did not attend my usual exercise class one day, quite an anomaly for me.  When I sounded a bit discomfited by my absence, someone said to me, in twenty years it won't make a difference ...

Now that is true.  But I think my habit of exercising will made a difference in twenty years or I wouldn't be doing it.  So although missing a single class won't made a difference, it is the aggregate of my weekly exercise sessions that will make a difference. 

So is the "it won't make a difference in twenty years" a good outlook or not to have? As is often the case, it depends what it is applied to.  If it is something trivial that will be long forgotten twenty years hence, but is disappointing or annoying now, then yes, it is a positive outlook.  But if it is applied to life's daily decisions ("one cookie now won't make a difference in twenty years"), those decisions add up.

That leads to the another point - is it said after the fact or before.  If it is a way to minimize the discomfort of something that already happened, that could be a good thing.  If it is used as a way of making decisions, it could easily lead to poor choices.

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