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There Are No Shortcuts to Success, So Run Faster


Greatness isn't simply born, it's developed. Development takes time. Specifically, it takes thousands of hours of metaphorical blood, sweat, and tears.

These can be gained quickly over a period of several years, or slowly over decades. It's your choice. When you're a beginner, growing quickly is easy. You have to grow quickly just to survive!

But once you hit that tier one up from beginner - once you can hold your own - speed becomes incredibly elusive.

There's a much bigger gap before your next significant milestone. "Fast" is accomplishing things or reaching milestones in a matter of years rather than decades.

And I think that's exactly where the mental barrier sets up shop - in the lull that comes after defeating the learning curve - and stops so many talented people from going farther faster.

People tend to think of career progress in decades, even though we shouldn't have to. "Well, when I hit 30 I'll be able to..." or "By the time I'm 40, I should..." This isn't necessarily bad behavior, but it can be very stifling.

When you only think in long-term goals, you put yourself in a box. You're just biding your time with far less drive, because you know doing X for Y years will get you where you want to go.

You have to get years of experience. You have to become the expert who comes to mind first. But you don't have to sit back and wait for it! There's no shortcut to success, but there is a path, and you can run faster than anyone else on it if you really want to!

The person biding her time sits back for their 40 hours a week, and then effectively goofs off outside of work. The runner spends extra time building human capital, reading books to learn more, watching documentaries, working on extra projects and finishing tasks early.

If the person biding her time works 40 hours a week, the runner might spend 60, 70, 80, or even 100 hours a week focused on tasks that will in one way or another shape her into being a better, more skilled human being.

It's true there's no way to cut corners on the experience and skills everyone has to obtain to gain success. But you're in control of how quickly you develop them.

You could develop them slowly over a period of decades, or you could develop them faster over a period of only years. It's your choice. What will it be?