Sometimes taking the long view gives perspective, but other times it becomes a way to build for ourselves a seemingly impossible obstacle. We all know how this goes: "Things are bad at the moment. I can get through this moment somehow, yet when I think of the next moment, and the next, and the next it becomes impossible. If things are hard now, how am I going to deal with this for years and years and years?"
This sort of long view is not only unhelpful, but inaccurate. Virtue is not some big project that we can sit down and accomplish (or fail at) in one herculean effort. Virtue is the habit of doing the good, and so, necessarily, virtue is accomplished (or failed at) one moment at a time. We do not need, at once, to deal with the impossible mountain of right choices stretching from here out. We just need to get it right this moment. And the next moment. And the moment after that.
Passages on Self-Command in Sense and Sensibility
15 minutes ago