Beware of Shortcuts

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Some people believe in shortcuts.

They assume one can save time using a shortcut and can also avoid hard work.

Not only that, but they also believe the results they get through shortcuts are nearly perfect.

Are you also one such person?

It may appear that you are saving time by taking a shortcut, but in reality, it wastes more time and create more problems than it solves.

Shortcuts Rarely Produce Anything Worthwhile

Sistine Chapel ceiling painted by Michelangelo is a masterpiece. It took him years to complete it.

Legendary composer, Beethoven’s symphonies, are another classic example. After listening to his concert, a lady approached him and said, “The way you compose music is just unbelievable. I’d give my life to be able to play like you.” Beethoven replied, “That’s what I did lady, I gave my life!”

Ever wondered why people enjoy some songs even after 30-40 years while others are short-lived – you don’t remember them even after three months?

Why so?

Because a lot of rehearsing and polishing went into them, and that’s the reason when you listen to such songs, you get filled with awe and wonder. They invoke a sense of beauty  – you get enchanted.

Now let’s talk about food.

Nourishing food takes time to prepare. You need lots of ingredients and need to do a lot of work, but when you taste the dish, you know it was worth the effort.

On the other hand, fast food takes minutes to prepare but fails to nourish your body because it relies on shortcuts.

Extraordinary Results Demand Extraordinary Efforts

Many people try achieving remarkable results in life and fail because we don’t realise a simple truth that only exceptional people can make such results.

Let’s take an example from bodybuilding:

You’re trying to get six pack abs.

If you’re serious, then you must be willing to put an extraordinary effort. Taking a half-assed approach in the gym and eating anything you can get your hands on is a waste of time.

The process of getting six pack abs is brutal, and it’s no child’s play. It demands hard work, self-control, and patience.

You give up carbs, sugar and comfort foods, and embrace raw vegetables, sprouts, high protein foods.

You train hard.

Gradually, your body starts responding. You train even harder. Advertisements of chocolates, sodas and so-called “energy drinks” lose their charm.

By and by your abs start showing up – slowly but steadily.

Six pack abs are extraordinary, and so are the efforts.

And it’s right for just about anything and everything remarkable in life.

If you want to create something valuable that’ll make you proud; then you must be willing to put in extraordinary efforts.

People not up for that should probably learn to stay happy with what they have.

Impatience Gives Birth to Frauds

Ever noticed that most people around you are in a hurry? And the funny part is, they don’t even know why.

Such people are like a person driving a car like a maniac but don’t even know where is he going.

Here’s the issue: We want instant gratification.

We want everything here and now. This impatience gives birth to frauds.

The law of demand and supply states ‘Where there’s a demand, there’s a supply’.

So many people prey on your money. They claim they can help you get that perfect body, perfect mind, ideal suit or anything in no time. All you have to do is – pay them money.

Let’s again take bodybuilding for example.

It takes time to get lean and fit body – months, even years.

And for those who can’t wait, there is grey market – take those magic pills, inject that wonder hormone in your veins and voila – you can have the body others will die to get. Girls will be all after you, boys will envy you, and you’ll be on top of the world.

But they never tell you about the side-effects, do they?

Success Takes Time

Success is not something you can achieve overnight. Most of the overnight successes are short-lived and temporary.

There’s only one way to get long-lasting and fulfilling success – keep working on yourself, keep polishing your skills, keep educating yourself. At times you may feel you’re wasting time, but in reality, you’re ‘investing’ time.

Shortcuts lead to things that are short on quality, short on grace, and short on pleasure.

Some examples of shortcuts

  • You love drinking milk but hate to spend time getting the buffalo ready with the caring touch of your hands. Don’t worry – The magic hormonal injection is at your service. It’s available in the grey market. Just inject the liquid into buffalo’s veins, and she will be ready for milking in no time. This shortcut gets the milk instantly, and mind you, many in-explainable diseases too.
  • You are getting late for office or need to reach college as fast as you can. You skip breakfast and grab a burger from a fast food corner. The burger has filled your stomach, but you missed something – the nutrition you would have gotten from ‘proper’ breakfast.
  • You don’t have time to get trousers stitched from the local tailor.
    You approach a famous clothing store and buy a pair of branded trousers, endorsed by some ‘celebrity.’ It looks good, feels awesome, but you missed the comfort that a customised pair of trouser could have given you. Remember the term ‘tailor-made?’ It means comfort.

Why Take Shortcuts?

You are bound to take shortcuts if you want to have it all.

When you try too hard to achieve everything, you become hard on yourself, hard on people around you, and hard on the world in general. You become restless and anxious.

Focus on Quality

We have a term -‘Quality of life’. Have you ever heard the term ‘Quantity of life’?

Because it’s quality that gives birth to pleasure.

Do two things a day instead of 4 but do them with all your heart and soul.

Take pleasure in doing whatever you do, and you’ll be surprised to notice that you enjoyed the life for the first time. You’ll feel so good, so relaxed that it’ll appear like a dream.

Let’s take the example of motorbikes:

The modern day bikes can go from 0-60 Kph in as little as 10 seconds.

Try this:

Ride your motorbike at speed around 40 Kph, enjoy the sound of the engine revving and the slow pace.

You’ll be surprised to notice so many ‘new’ things around you – things that have been there for years, but you were in a hurry to see and admire them.

It happened to me.

One day I decided to go office walking and left around 6 am.

I strolled and was surprised to see that though it was the same road, there were so many things on my way that I hadn’t noticed before – beautiful trees, flowers, small tea shops, schools and many more.

I experienced wonder and awe after a long time. Going slow helped me staying present for the world around me.

Enjoy every moment, and gradually you’ll be able to experience a beautiful phenomenon that is rare nowadays.

It’s called pleasure.

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Avdhesh Tondak is a blogger on a mission: to cut the crap and give the readers what they want (and deserve)—personal development articles in plain English. Connect with him on facebook and twitter.