The Shortcut Is the Hard Way

Seth Godin says the long way is the shortcut, but – and this is not as obvious of a consequence as it sounds – the shortcut is also the hard way.

It’s not hard because the work is hard – after all, that’s the part you’re avoiding. It’s hard because you pay not with hours but with your peace of mind.

You might have to lie to consumers, your friends, and the world. You’ll have to exploit the weak or be unhelpful on purpose. Those things can feel shockingly easy in the moment, but they’re much harder to live with than even the longest of workdays.

Why not do it right the first time? Why risk losing your family, your possessions, even your sleep? You can run an operation that’s great for you but so-so for the customer – or you can run one that’s so good to people, it’ll inevitably have to be good to you too.

If the shortcut takes half as long but weighs twice as much, you won’t gain anything but stress. You’ll conclusively lose years that otherwise would have held not just the potential to be successful, but the potential to be happy too.

Think thrice about taking the shortcut. There’s more than one reason to walk the long path.