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There Are No Shortcuts To Real Success

There Are No Shortcuts To Real Success

    So many people are in such a hurry to success that they eagerly take any shortcuts that come across their way. In reality, shortcuts usually lead to disappointments rather than quicker success. The key to any long-term success is to take the necessary steps to steadily progress rather than skip any of them. This would be true whether the goals are financial or health or relationship related.

    I’ve seen gullible people buy into the many ‘get rich quick’ or ‘lose weight fast’ schemes out there only to find out that none of them work except in relieving you of the money paid for such products or programs. A friend of mine even bought one of those home devices that electronically stimulate belly muscle contractions thinking that weight lost is possible while watching TV. This friend, who did not want to put in the work of exercising in a gym, is still overweight today.

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    Shortcuts can result in loss of success

    As a certified ski instructor, I’ve seen many beginners who try to come down slopes that they are clearly not ready for. Such folks have not reached a level where they can consistently stop and turn on their skis while even on the bunny hill yet. For some reason, these same people ventured onto steeper slopes serviced by chairlifts and they end up frozen stiff with fear at the top.

    I’ve had to physically climb back up a slope to rescue such novice skiers by holding them all the way safely back down the hill. Imagine how embarrassing this must be for an adult as this is how we usually start little three or four year-olds on the bunny hill.

    If they do manage to start coming down on their own, they will usually panic, lose their focus and end up going straight down the hill with increasing speed. Of course a ‘yard sale’ (a ski phrase which describes a fallen skier with skis and poles ending up all over the slope) will be the result.

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    We always tell beginners that they must be completely comfortable in making solid turns and stops on a bunny hill before going onto slopes serviced by chairlifts. This is achieved only by extra practice outside of lesson time. But some are just impatient and decide to go on the chairlifts anyway before they are proficient on the easier slopes.

    They thought that they could take shortcuts and bypass the steps required. Imagine the shock when they realize that even the easier slopes serviced by the chairlifts are way beyond their abilities and comfort levels when they are looking down these larger hills compared to the relatively flat bunny slopes.

    Unfortunately, some of these beginners may never put on skis again because of their terrifying experiences. This is a real shame since they did make the initial efforts to come out to try skiing as a way to embrace winter. If they do come back to try again, sometimes it is the following winter when they have already loss the momentum of any progress as they have forgotten the basic skills.

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    The shortcuts they thought they could get away with resulted in a loss of success. These poor folks usually have to start all over again from scratch in terms of learning how to ski even the bunny hills. Their initial fears will take twice as much work to get over compared to those who did not take shortcuts in their learning.

    Take the same steps as other successful people have done

    Although it is wise to get proper coaching, instruction and mentoring for your goals, these are not considered shortcuts. They are just more efficient ways to learn the skills required for success. However, time with a coach or instructor does not replace the steps one must take in order to be successful.

    You still have to do your part of the work whether it’s working out at the gym, building wealth, starting a new relationship or practicing your ski turns on the bunny hill. The bottom line is that there are no true shortcuts to real success.

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    Many of the goals we want to achieve have already been achieved by countless numbers of other people. Follow their examples and take the same type of steps they had to take in order to be successful. Each step is very much like a little success on its own and little successes do add up. Pay your dues to steadily develop towards success rather than take detours on shortcuts that can actually set you back.

    (Photo credit: Ski, snow, sun and fun – skiers on winter vacation via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2019

    Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

    Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

    Do you like making mistakes?

    I certainly don’t.

    Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

    Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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    Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

    Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

    • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
    • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
    • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
    • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

    We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

    If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

    Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

    Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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    When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

    Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

    We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

    It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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    Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

    Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

    Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

    1. Point us to something we did not know.
    2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
    3. Deepen our knowledge.
    4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
    5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
    6. Inform us more about our values.
    7. Teach us more about others.
    8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
    9. Show us when someone else has changed.
    10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
    11. Remind us of our humanity.
    12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
    13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
    14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
    15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
    16. Invite us to better choices.
    17. Can teach us how to experiment.
    18. Can reveal a new insight.
    19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
    20. Can serve as a warning.
    21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
    22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
    23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
    24. Remind us how we are like others.
    25. Make us more humble.
    26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
    27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
    28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
    29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
    30. Expose our true feelings.
    31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
    32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
    33. Point us in a more creative direction.
    34. Show us when we are not listening.
    35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
    36. Can create distance with someone else.
    37. Slow us down when we need to.
    38. Can hasten change.
    39. Reveal our blind spots.
    40. Are the invisible made visible.

    Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

    The secret to handling mistakes is to:

    • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
    • Have an experimental mindset.
    • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

    When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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    When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

    It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

    When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

    Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

    Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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    Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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