The Power of Playing the Long Game and Choosing Enjoyment


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 19, 2023

4 min read


The Power of Playing the Long Game and Choosing Enjoyment


In a world where most people prioritize short-term gains and immediate gratification, playing the long game and choosing enjoyment over pleasure can provide a significant advantage. The most successful individuals in any field understand the value of delayed gratification and investing in long-term goals. While the long game may not initially capture attention or seem exciting, its power lies in the ability to compound results over time. In contrast, the short game involves avoiding challenges, exploiting others, and overspending. This article explores the benefits of playing the long game and the importance of choosing enjoyment over pleasure to create a fulfilling life.

Playing the Long Game:

Playing the long game requires embracing the idea of sacrificing immediate comfort for future rewards. It involves enduring short-term hardships to ensure a smoother journey towards success. Unfortunately, this mindset is not prevalent among most individuals, as it demands discipline and perseverance. However, by committing to the long game, one can achieve significant advantages. The key is to identify the areas in life that truly matter and focus on playing the long-term game in those specific domains. A good starting point is to prioritize knowledge, relationships, and finances, as these aspects have the potential to compound and yield substantial benefits in the future.

Choosing Enjoyment Over Pleasure:

While pleasure may provide temporary satisfaction, true enjoyment is derived from personal effort and engagement. Pleasure is often addictive and instinctual, while enjoyment is a conscious choice made by individuals. Enjoyment brings a sense of accomplishment, progress, and fulfillment. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi suggests that enjoyment involves committing oneself to savoring the present moment and finding joy and fun in the task at hand. Unlike pleasure, which is fleeting, the memory of an enjoyable experience can evoke positive feelings long after it has ended.

The Pitfalls of Pleasure:

Unfortunately, many individuals sabotage their own enjoyment by seeking external validation and constantly showcasing their happiness on social media. Research shows that those who share their experiences online enjoy them less compared to those who keep them private. The pressure to present oneself positively online diminishes the authentic experience and hinders true enjoyment. Moreover, an excessively practical worldview that prioritizes efficiency can also hamper enjoyment. Considering activities as wasteful or unproductive leads to a 12% decrease in enjoyment. It is crucial to recognize that leisure and unproductive time have inherent value, contributing to a sense of self-fulfillment and overall happiness.

The Significance of Enjoyment:

Josef Pieper, a German philosopher, asserts that leisure and enjoyment are fundamental to a fulfilling life. By engaging in activities that bring genuine pleasure, such as spending time with loved ones, reading, or taking leisurely walks, individuals align themselves with their true selves. Enjoyment enables individuals to transcend mere good feelings and declare independence from base impulses. It is an essential ingredient in creating a life that aligns with one's values and desires.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace the long game: Identify the areas in your life that hold long-term significance, such as knowledge, relationships, and finances. Invest time and effort in these domains, even if the rewards are not immediately visible. Remember, the longer you play, the greater the rewards.
  • 2. Prioritize enjoyment: Instead of seeking fleeting pleasures, focus on creating moments of genuine enjoyment. Engage fully in activities, savor the present moment, and commit to finding joy and accomplishment in your endeavors. Avoid the temptation to showcase your happiness for external validation and embrace unproductive time as valuable.
  • 3. Cultivate independence: Refuse to be controlled by pleasures or trapped in joyless routines. Pursue activities and experiences that align with your true desires and values. By declaring independence from base impulses, you can create a life that reflects your authentic self and brings long-lasting fulfillment.


Playing the long game and choosing enjoyment over pleasure may not be the most popular or glamorous path, but it offers immense advantages in creating a fulfilling and successful life. By investing in the long-term game, prioritizing enjoyment, and declaring independence from base impulses, individuals can unlock their true potential and build a life that aligns with their values and aspirations. So, dare to embrace the long game and choose enjoyment as you navigate the journey towards a meaningful and rewarding future.

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