The future or the present?

There’s many things I took from Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things. Insights on management, relationships, self-analysis and integrity. But one of the things which gave me particular pause for thought was this observation:

“It’s quite possible for an executive to hit her goals for the quarter by ignoring the future.”

As well as being another shard of evidence in the case against goals, it also yields some useful information about preferences and intentions. Read the following and ask yourself, “which is a more accurate statement about myself?”

  1. “I am willing to pay for success in the present by sacrificing the future.”
  2. “I am willing to pay for success in the future by sacrificing the present.”

Are you like the executive who’ll damage a companies future to save your own sense of pride? Or are you willing to let your ego take a hit, to fail and suffer the consequences now, to reap the benefits later?

What’s more important to you? The future or the present? Now or then?