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A key to your long term success
November 01, 2008

You Key to Long Term Success


Successful people have been interviewed and studied for many years to determine the critical factors that enable them to be successful in their lives.

In this month's newsletter we discuss the single most important factor to long-term success.

The Harvard Study on Success

At Harvard University, a renowned sociologist Dr Edward Banfield, examined why some people become financially independent and successful in their lives and others don't. He initially thought that it was family, education, intelligence or some other factor.

What Dr Banfield discovered was that success involved a particular attitude. This attitude he termed "long term perspective"

How to develop your long term perspective

Dr Banfield says that the critical factor that separates successful people from average people is the ability to develop a long term perspective.

People who who planned for the future and and acted upon it were much more likely to achieve success in their career.

Increasing your overall impact

Setting priorities in your life is the key ingredient to success. When setting priorities, the longer your perspective, the more future life impact you will have.

For example, when you come home from work do you spend time with your children and family, or do you turn on the TV or surf the Internet. If you choose the former then you are acting in the long term perspective. You are investing your time in the happiness of your children and family. By taking this long term perspective you use your time on very high priorities and and the potential impact of a happy family on your life is very high.

Lets take another example. Suppose that you decide to attend evening courses to increase your skills so you can become more valuable to your employer. This is taking a long-term perspective and can be very valuable to your career.

Action exercises to develop your long term perspective.

First lets think long term. Imagine that it is your retirement dinner, and all the people that are important to you are there. What would you like these significant people in your lives to say about you? You partner? Your boss and colleagues? Your children? These two exercises can really develop your left and right brain functioning to brainstorm your long term perspective.

Second, examine everything that you have done this week. Are you doing more things that have long-term value or are you controlled by the urgent, constantly putting out fires. Proactive time management can help you to do more things that have long term value to you and your family. It can really increase your overall life impact!

Third, develop a habit of delaying gratification of the small things so that you can reap the rewards of achieving your long term goals and successes.


Dr Banfield’s study illustrates that success is how you consider the long-term perspective in the decisions. Here we provide you a few exercises to develop your long-term perspective to virtually guarantee more success.

In the next newsletter, on the 1st December, we examine the different time management strategies that you can implement to become more effective in your work, rest and play.

All the best

Kell and the team at Effective Time Management Strategies

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