Whether it’s your work, your relationships, or even where you live, the timeframe of your commitment will affect your behavior. If you’re committed to the long term—if you’re planning on sticking around for a while—you’ll think differently about how and where you invest your time, energy, and resources.
Say, for instance, you’re only planning on living in your house for a couple more years. You’ll approach repairs differently than if you were planning on being there for a few decades. Why invest in a premium roof or furnace if you’re planning on moving soon—especially if the money spent doesn’t increase the value of the house by the same amount? Why not choose something at a lower price-point that will be good enough for now?
Or say you start a new job. The time you’re planning on spending there will affect what kind of projects and roles you’ll want to take on. If your goal is to move on soon, you’ll be more interested in focusing on projects that will quickly boost your résumé or grow your network. But, if you’re planning on being around a while, you may be more willing to take on less visible roles or invest in longer-term projects—projects or roles that may be valuable in the bigger picture but not so glamorous right now.
Now, there will be plenty of times where you’ll know for sure you’ll be moving on shortly. And there may be other times you’ll know for sure you’re committed till the end. But for all those situations in between, what changes would you make if you did decide to commit for the long haul? What would you be doing differently if you decided to think in terms of decades, not just weeks, months, or years?
Thinking about questions like these can highlight the effect that long-term commitment could have in a given area. Because whether it’s short-term or long-term, the timeframe of your commitment will ultimately affect your decisions and investments.