How far can you see? This a question of TIME not distance. In Chess, how far you see is determined by the number of sequential moves you can see. I will give my definition of time in life as it relates to the number of moves in Chess.
1. Seeing nothing at all. This is when you just do whatever comes your way. You don’t know what you are doing. You don’t know what’s coming next. This is the worst. It would be similar to a Chess player who just pushes wood. No thought whatsoever behind it.
2. Seeing the the next action or two. This is when you do something, and have an idea of what you will do next if things work out a certain way. For example, “I will study instead of going shopping. If I don’t spend this money I will save it for whatever.” In Chess it would be similar to making a move with a follow-up idea in mind – if your opponent complies.
3. Seeing the next three or more actions. This is when you do something and you know where you will be after the next couple of things are done. Say you have a meeting where you are going to give a presentation. You know that you have to prepare for it. Somebody has to type it up or create a presentation. You need several hours of undisturbed time to draft, compile, bump-if-off some people etc. I hope you can already see that when you start seeing further out, you start working in reverse. There is the big goal out there and you are working backwards to accomplish it. That is the ideal way of doing it. In Chess, it could be something like a checkmate in 3 moves. You envision where your pieces should be to get to checkmate. Then you see how your pieces can get there.
Sometimes seeing three, four or even five moves in Chess is not enough; but for the most part, the more you train yourself to look at a move and then go forward a couple of moves after that, the better you get. Of course, you just don’t look at one move. You look at several moves/options. In essence you may see a total of 15 to 30 moves. Some of them may criss-cross. Not all of them are valid or useful. With time you learn to eliminate some things.
The farther you see, the more likely you are to deal with things before they become a crisis. The farther you see, the easier it is to come up with goals and milestones so that you can monitor your progress. Finally, meeting the goals YOU SET will give you a sense of achievement and control over your life.