Short Cuts Don’t Work In the Long Run

By: Lindy Earl

I know we are all tempted, at different points in life, to take the easier path.  Sometimes we’re in a hurry and need to get it done.  Sometimes there are financial and time constraints. Sometimes the prize just isn’t worth the effort.  Sometimes we are just tired.  The short cut is enticing . . . freeing . . . the obvious solution.  But is it?

Students who want a degree, not an education, please listen:  Does anyone really want to employ a student who was just going through the motions?  I’m not talking about grades, which are too often superfluous and meaningless.  We have all met people with college degrees, even masters degrees, who just don’t really have knowledge.  A business major who doesn’t know how to write an Income Statement – how does that happen?  A teacher with a lack of understanding when it comes to child behavior.  Do we want an engineer who just phoned it in to design our bridges?  These students eventually get found out and the shortcuts taken lead nowhere.

In personal health, we all know the right way to lose weight and stay healthy, and it’s not fad diets.  Healthy decisions, from exercising to what foods we choose to eat and choose to not eat, will get us and keep us healthy. How much sleep we get is important.  These are all choices within our control, and the turtle is going to win the race, not the hare that sprints and stops.

Nobody wants to buy a product from a company that takes short cuts – are you listening, Corporations? There are too many examples to list, and some of them are out of business, never having recovered from their errors. People are willing to pay for quality.  When a company takes shortcuts, they eventually show, and bad long-term effects ensue.  Is it really worth winning a battle when you’ll lose the war?

In relationships, is a temporary moment worth giving up what was supposed to be a long term commitment?  We married for a lifetime, yet the divorce rate is about half of all marriages.  Ouch. Commitment doesn’t take short cuts.  A real relationship takes time, energy, communication, and a lot of effort, day after day.  If you think about your long-term friendships, they have all had ups and downs.  Are you giving more to your friends than to your spouse?

When you take time to know what you want, you need to be willing to do the work to get there, gathering everything you can on the way, and never stop learning.  You need to apply what you know to be true.  The joy of reaping may begin at any time. When you invest in yourself – in your partner, your career, your life – the rewards are sweeter.

In strategic decisions, such as long-term career goals or relationships, invest in yourself and make the right decision.  You are worth the time and energy to do things right.  Don’t sell yourself short and take short cuts.  In truth, shortcuts are a copout and nothing you need.

Lindy is a Speaker, Writer, and Consultant.  Contact her at to learn more about having her speak to your group, her books, or her services.