If you take shortcuts, you get cut short. ~Gary Busey.
Over the past several years — even the past several months — I have confirmed what I already knew, had been taught and endeavored to follow.
There are no shortcuts or quick fixes. Whether it’s in life, business or relationships, the journey is the same. Frankly, I have run head-long into people over the last 12 months who have chosen the shortcut route only to come up short, sometimes very short.
Pilots have a checklist before takeoff. Cars are constructed on an assembly line that follows a process. Great chefs use a tedious and meticulous process to cook their best dishes. Otherwise, we might all be in trouble!
The rules of the universe and God’s laws don’t change, but neither do the efforts of man. In today’s short attention span, internet, gimme now, instant gratification age, everyone looks for a quicker, shorter way to the goal. Indeed, the shortest distance between two points may be a straight line, but, for some reason, people often try to make it even straighter, and quicker.
In big ventures and in small ones, shortcuts always bring disappointment in one way or the other. The wisdom of Proverbs 21:5 (NLT) agrees: “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”
Again, there are no shortcuts. Work smarter, not harder, is a myth. Sure, you can be judicious in your work, but it doesn’t mean you can eliminate the hard work. You can invent, improve, hone your skills, increase knowledge and develop new avenues for production, but the journey is still the same. You won’t find a reliable shortcut or legitimate quick fix. Proper planning and hard work is still the ticket.
Today more than ever, we’ve become accustomed to shortcuts and quick fixes: Keyboard shortcuts, recipe shortcuts, remotes for everything, microwaves, even pills to lose weight. But they’re all designed to make life quicker and forego the effort that is inherent in every project.
Over the past several months, I have learned of schemes, get-rich-quick plans and other failures that have resulted from an attempt to shortcut or make a quick fix or bypass necessary steps or procedures. Some of them boggle the mind.
To get to the top of the staircase, climb all the steps. If you take the short cut, you’ll always stumble and come up short. There’s nothing new under the sun, so the proof is already there. Believe me, someone has done your “homework” for you—someone who came before you tried all the schemes, angles and ploys.
That’s why these things either lead to failure, poverty or great disappointment.
- IRS tax schemes.
- Get rich quick ideas.
- Reach your goal in half the time plans.
- Ramp up faster, sell more sooner.
- Multi-level marketing/pyramid schemes.
- Lose weight faster with this pill.
- Write a book faster with these shortcuts.
- Stock market shortcuts.
Obviously, people are attracted to financial schemes that will make them rich. It’s one reason that 80% of Americans today live paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s one reason that there are more bankruptcies today than ever before. Indeed, those schemes look good on the outside and their “salesmen” can make them appear very enticing. In the end, they are all the same: Schemes that will lead to ruin, embarrassment and difficulty.
Now, don’t misunderstand. There is a difference between good strategy and a shortcut. There are processes for everything, and a step-by-step course as a guide will certainly help in accomplishing a goal. That said, there are always consequences to circumventing the process. And, by the way, circumventing is one of the definitions for the shortcut.
Perhaps you have found a better way that helps you in the process, but if you want to write a book, the principles are the same. If you’re going to graduate from school, you have to take all the classes. If you want to cook the turkey, you’ll get much better results if you follow the time-honored plan that includes basting, stuffing and cooking for a specific time. Plan your work and work your plan.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. ~Beverly Sills.
Shortcuts to the process are one thing, but shortcuts in truth, honesty and integrity are another altogether. They always — repeat ALWAYS — come back to haunt you. God will often protect you in your endeavors and he will guide you around potential mistakes or calamities, but He is not bound to protect you when you deviate away from truth, honesty and integrity.
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. ~John Wooden.
There’s a practical side and there’s a moral side, but fail on the moral side and it’s a cinch you’ll fail on the practical side. Sooner or later, the chickens come home to roost as they say.
Don’t trust me on this, take time to look it up for yourself: Every athlete, every businessman or businesswoman, every pastor and every leader will tell you that it takes hard work, and there is no shortcut. You’ll be surprised by their stories. Most of them worked overtime and avoided shortcuts. There is no substitute for hard work. God can change anything He chooses, of course, but He honors your effort: “For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words.” Ecclesiastes 5:3.
So what are you working on today? Finances? IRS problems? Weight loss? A plan to get out of debt? The lottery? A project at home? Your marriage or another relationship? Remember this: There are no shortcuts. Put your plan together, work your plan step by step, you’ll become a happy camper. And you’ll be able to sleep at night.
- A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work. ~ Colin Powell, former U.S. Defense Secretary
- If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time. ~ Steve Jobs, co-Founder of Apple Inc.
- Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come. ~ Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, former wrestler and actor
- I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near. ~ Margaret Thatcher, Former UK Prime Minister
- A shortcut is the longest distance between two points. ~Charles Issawi.