One of the biggest challenges with designing a good life for ourselves is that the stuff we measure our days, weeks, and even months with is not how we measure our life as a whole.
The stuff we measure our life with – living with integrity or building a few deep relationships with people we care about for example – come with no awards, no vanity metrics, no promotions, and no recognition. And, just in case that wasn’t hard enough, there are often minimal signs of progress for long periods of time.
On the flip side, most of the stuff that seems to loom large and feature so prominently in the near future (e.g. work/career milestones or fun side projects) seem to matter for the longest time… until they don’t.
It is the classic urgency vs. importance prioritization problem. And, as is the case with most things, it is much easier to talk about thinking long term/balancing the short and long term than it is to actually do it.
PS: This is much like building good products. The foreseeable future seems more important than it is.