„There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

About this quote:

„There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

I like the quote a lot, it’s one of my favorites.

Some thoughts:

  • There are some cases in which the assertion is false.
    • HIIT (High-intensity interval training) is a method in which your workout is very intense, and you can get good results.
    • Generally, running 3 km is better for your health than walking the same distance.
    • I think you can get better results by doing more work at greater speed than less work at smaller speed.
  • But, in a lot of cases, the quote is true:
    • You should avoid cheating because when you get a negative feedback („you didn’t fare well at the test / project”), you will want to improve and work harder next time.
    • If you want to become a manager / entrepreneur, you can just start with this and learn from your mistakes as you evolve in your paths, but I think a better solution is to first get some hands-on experience.
    • Even on route planning the quote stays true – it’s generally hard to find a better way to travel than the official road. For trips within a city, you can use Google Maps to give you better route solutions, alternative means of transportation, that’s true.
    • The most important aspect of the quote – the major things in life (career, love, family, education) require a lot of work. From time to time, yes, there may be some shortcuts from A to B, but mostly the road is not an easy one. You need to put some effort to make things happen.
    • Let’s simplify even the most important aspect, just presented above – happiness. You can only get it by doing difficult things. Work, integrity, investment. An ice cream is a shortcut and the happiness you will get from it will fade. But if you put the hard work, you will be happy. There are no real shortcuts, most of it is work.
    • What I think the quote means,  mostly, is that for a lot of fields you need to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work. About this, another quote I like:

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” ― Bill Gates

The quote will get you thinking, when you apply it to various situations in life.

PS, 2018.08.05: Does this quote imply that you should avoid shortcuts at all costs? That you should always aim for the difficult, long path?

I think not. If you need a powerful computer for work or a good camera to take photos/videos, get one. If you can be more efficient by using shortcuts and tools on the PC, use them, by all means. Sometimes speed and power are the long road. The shortcut in this case would be to avoid paying for the powerful tool, not to learn the procedures to work more efficient.

Sometimes, the long and difficult path is being better, being faster, and having access to more resources.

Scott Adams says (and is sometimes not credited for this):

In my new book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, I talk about using systems instead of goals. For example, losing ten pounds is a goal (that most people can’t maintain), whereas learning to eat right is a system that substitutes knowledge for willpower.

Systems are the difficult path. Sometimes boring, sometimes very intensive and demanding, I think they are the solution. Sometimes, they may look like a shortcut, but I don’t think they are so.

Trey Ratcliff – Don’t Worry Mom – The Roads in Iceland Aren’t That Bad, https://flic.kr/p/3RBKRo

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