Maybe you were in a hurry. Maybe you were desperate for a win. Maybe everything on that day already went wrong, so you decided to take one for yourself.
Whatever it was, you knew you were taking a shortcut when you did it. You knew that wasn’t the end of the line. That the right ticket would’ve been more expensive. The answer you gave wasn’t supposed to help, it was supposed to get you off the hook.
I get it. The world’s too big. It’s easy. Too many opportunities. Too many corners to cut. Sooner or later, we all do. I know I have many times.
It feels good at first, doesn’t it? “Ha, I got away with it!” Soon though, it feels icky. Like a stain you can’t get off your shirt. It’s true. What’s done is done. That smudge won’t go away.
No matter how small they are, each of those stains stays forever. We all carry them on our backs. But if we don’t add any new ones, with time, they begin to fade.
If you wash your shirt often enough, only a remnant will be left. A little reminder of a stain that once was. You’ll still see the outline, but you won’t remember how it got there. You’ve successfully forgotten how to cut that kind of corner.
There’s no fast track to stop cutting corners. Being slow is what it’s all about. The only way is to be mindful of each one when you get there. That takes slowness. Deliberation. Patience. These are attitudes we must practice. Not just once but every day.
Yes, the world is big. So many corners you could cut. But it’s also big enough to go around them. There’s always room to take the right path or forge one if you have to. Slow down. Take it easy. Don’t hurt yourself.
You can’t uncut this corner. But you can not cut the next one.