Optimizing for Short and Long Term

This is not a particularly exciting topic, but it is something that I think a lot about. 

If you have been reading my posts for a while, or even in just the last week or so, you can tell I think a lot and care a lot about how I (and others) invest our time. I am so purposeful and conscious in understanding this effort because I know just how powerful proper "investment" can be. I believe what, in large part, separates "success" from "failure" is input. Input of hours, expertise, etc. I can control # hours so long as I am cognizant of what I am doing. I can control how much I want to work (because that gives me certain amounts of fulfillment) vs how much I want to go out (etc.). 

What I have trouble, or am more challenged, thinking about is optimizing for the short vs long run. 

Why is this question so hard for me? 

1) I do not know what the long term is. No one does. That uncertainty makes it hard to optimize. How can you "optimize" for something that you do not know or have disbeliefs about? 

It requires optimism in the unknown and confidence in yourself. 

2) In the perfect world we are always optimizing for the long term. We are doing things today that will help us in the future. But there are other factors in life that prevent us from doing that. Like needing MONEY. You cannot live without it. You have to do things today that can help you get it. 

3) You can only really fully optimize for one thing at a time. Money. Friends. Experiences. Etc. 

4) It requires sacrifice 

Which begs the question...What are you hoping this long run even looks like? How vastly different will it be from the short run that whatever you are hoping to happen - you cannot just execute on today? Why wait? 

I am not sure why we wait. I think often times we fail to even ask the question if we can just do something today vs waiting. 

I'll likely write much more about this in the future.