The definition of taking the long view is thinking about (taking action) in terms of its effects on the future instead of the present. The long view can be also be intertwined with the concept of discipline.
Discipline to me is the ability to give up the ease of the moment for something greater in the future.
Long view recognizes what it is you could potentially be/have/do. Discipline is allowing you to navigate each day to stay on the course.
I think about the importance of installing a long view mentality in my kids in a world that is more and more instant gratification. I wonder how often the ability to have things instantly starts to erode patience and if it starts to chip away the ability to grind towards a goal.
Long view is so important for health. The discipline to do the simple, boring things day in and day out. Anything that changes health quickly is usually a drug. Medicine is designed to work quickly. Thankfully! We don't want to wait 4 weeks to find out if this antibiotic is working. But, realize, medicine (outside of some life threatening conditions) isn't designed for long term use.
If it acts quick, it isn't sustainable. If it's not sustainable, it's not a great choice when it comes to the long view. Restricted calories and drinking nothing but 2 shakes a day may indeed lose you that 20 pounds you are looking for. But, that isn't sustainable and when it ends there is usually a very strong rebound effect.
We are told that eating fiber is great for us, but there isn't that instant gratification that come from doing it. The difference may not show up for months and months down the road. That is where discipline comes in to do it day in and day out.
This leads to the final piece of the puzzle, trust. You have to trust the process. Trust that the long view is worth it. If trust isn't there, discipline will wain. Instant gratification will start to win. Trust can come from repeated failures that what you have done didn't work. It can come from seeing what someone else has done and following the steps. It can come from seeing others failures and successes. The trust has to be real.
The 100m is a technical race. There is a very important phase called acceleration coming out of the blocks. It takes discipline to gradually build into the speed to accelerate smoothly to have energy for top end speed later in the race. The athlete must trust the process and not rush it. You don't get a medal for being first at 50 meters. You have to have the long view of running your race to win at the end.
I often ask myself the question, will the me that is exactly one year older from me currently, be glad that I started doing this every day today? If the answer is yes, I have a long view goal. Take the long view with your health. Don't fall for the modern world myth that health can be achieved quickly. Discipline day in and day out. Trust that the journey is indeed better that way