You are all very busy. You go from one meeting to another and you have senior leaders breathing down you necks saying, “do more, do it better, do it faster, do it cheaper”. Amidst the busyness of your everyday work life the appeal of taking a shortcut can be alluring. But, I want to share with you the five reasons why taking shortcuts may be appealing but taking them shortchanges you. Here are the five reasons.
#1. The important relationships in your life perish with the use of shortcuts. You can’t use a shortcut to raise your children nor can you use shortcuts to have a meaningful, high quality relationship with a significant other or a spouse. You simply cannot do it. Quality relationships time, focus and your presence.
#2. We miss out on wonderful experiences when we run from point A to point B. If we don’t take the long route, what we miss seeing is the topography, the landscape, how other cultures behave differently nor are we seeing in the world of work how our customers experience things. When we’re rushing from point A to point B and taking a shortcut we’re shortchanging ourselves as to other people’s perspectives and how they do things.
#3. You’ll never reach your full potential if you’re looking for shortcuts. Itzhak Perlman, the virtuoso violinist, never took a shortcut in becoming a virtuoso violinist. Whenever you see someone perform and comment “they are masterful,” I will promise you this, they did not take a shortcut.
#4. We become human doings as opposed to human beings. When we are on the hamster wheel going from one task to another task to another task, our tasks blind us to other more important aspects of our personal and professional lives. Going mindlessly or frantically from one activity to another has us becoming human doings as opposed to human beings.
#5. We are not very interesting when we simply read the Cliff Notes on life. It is true that you can read the Cliff Notes on Alexander Dumas’s, The Count of Monte Cristo, but I believe you will miss out on a wonderful narrative by an masterful storyteller. When you immerse yourself in a story, you become interested and engaged in the story and you want to share it with other people. When you do, others find your engagement and you interesting because of your interest in the story. When you only read the Cliff Notes you’re unable to experience the full breadth of a particular story.
Ladies and gentlemen, these are the five reasons why taking shortcuts will shortchange you. There are times you will want or need to take a shortcut, but these five reasons are worth your consideration because far too often the shortcuts you’ve taken have left you shortchanged…and that’s something you’ll want to avoid doing again this week.
This week, identify one shortcut you’ve been taking that is no longer serving you well, and make a commitment to change it. If you don’t you’re going to miss out and be shortchanged. I don’t believe that’s what you want, so this week identify one shortcut and make a commitment to eliminate it.