Suppose you know where you want to go
Suppose you know where you are now.
It seems like all you need to do is to get the shortest path from where you are to where you want to go. In general, it’s called a “taking a shortcut” as the shortest path from point A to point B is only possible in ideal conditions. It’s a good thing only in one scenario and most other times a quest for the shortest path is a recipe for disaster.
Let me explain.
Reaching your destination (let’s call it Point B) is only part of the journey. What transformations happens to you along the way is where the magic really is. The shortest path is probably the one with least resistance and in turn is the path of the least growth.
The fundamental rule that never changes:
No Resistance = No Growth
The nature of the path you take to your destination will determine two things:
a) The price you pay to reach the destination
b) The investment you make in yourself to reduce the price you pay next time.
When you are young, your destination (Point B) is generally something that’s achievable (unless you are super lazy) and the competition is not that great. Sometimes there is no competition – and there is no penalty for being “late.” Think about your earliest years when you learned to crawl, walk, talk, run and jump. It’s not like people would be super concerned if you were “late” by a few weeks as compared to others of your age.
Professional journey is different. The “Point B” for first several years seems hard but it’s nothing compared to what it is once you reach 40. The competition is fierce and you need to have “paid” the price to “become” that someone that has a decent chance of winning. Just like you can’t exercise on a single day to make up for the lack of exercise for the whole of last month, you can’t become that someone in hurry when you just need that extra capacity.
Every time you choose to take the shortest path available, you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to become someone better. All the discounts of today will add up as a penalty for tomorrow.
The Buddhist quote (courtesy of David Burwen) should serve as a guiding light:
“When deciding among opportunities, choose the most difficult path”
And, the one scenario where this will work?
You are still thinking about that?
It was a trick statement: there is none!