In five years, will this matter?

“Put every setback in perspective. Think long-term. In five years, will this matter?” This question, posed by Regina Brett in her 45 Lessons Life Taught Me list, is something we should all consider.

Richard Branson pensive in thought ulusaba

Far too many people spend too much time looking in the rear-view mirror, worrying about where they went wrong, and get distracted from the road ahead. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but if you spend too much time wallowing on what’s behind you, you’ll never end up where you want to be.

I’ve always preferred to keep my eyes on the road ahead. I don’t write off the past; instead I draw lessons from it to help me on my course. After all, life’s greatest teacher is failure, and those that don’t learn from it are doomed to repeat their mistakes. But don’t study them – learn and move on.

Richard Branson motorbike

As Regina writes: “However good or bad a situation is, it will change.” If you spend too much time in the past, you’ll never move forward. Instead of constantly obsessing about the bumps in the road, or the bend coming up, look to the horizon – that way you’ll see the bigger picture.

While short-term goals are important, we should all be thinking with long-term vision in order secure the best future possible.

Richard Branson looking over Cairo, Egypt

This is particularly true in business. Gone are the days of quick wins. All businesses and business leaders should operate with an end goal in mind that can be continuously improved on. Long-term thinking is the key to a thriving planet, and happy and healthy people.

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