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It's Not a Shortcut.

"The shortcut has been well explored. Lots of people in a hurry before you have tried it and it hasn't worked. The most reliable way to make the change we seek to make is the way that everyone else thinks is too long and too difficult."
Seth Godin on the Coaching for Leaders podcast, Episode 381

First, I love Dave Stachowiak's Coaching For Leaders podcast - it's routinely great. I listened to this recent episode, titled "Serve Others Through Marketing", for two reasons:

  1. I feel like I need a lot of help to understand marketing better than I do at present.

  2. I've read a bit of Seth Godin's writing and think he's super smart, especially when it comes to marketing.

I probably need to give it another listen, though. Because while I did pull out some useful info on marketing, I was a bit distracted. For one thing, I was listening while grocery shopping - that's a bad idea for me. But the other reason I lost focus on the marketing message is the quote above, which came in at about the 13 minute mark.

I am a firm believer in the "longcut" of which Seth speaks. In fact, I've been reflecting a lot recently on the long, slow transformation I've undergone over the past 5+ years. Those years have involved so much: dealing with divorce, strengthening my mental health, rebuilding my social network, redefining my parenting style, finding home again, discovering new creative passions, starting a new career.

At times throughout that period, I've wanted to find the shortcuts, to just get past all the hard work and anguish and pain. Well, none appeared. And I'm glad. The trials of that transformative period have redefined me in ways I couldn't have imagined. There was a process of earning going on.

If you've ever climbed a mountain, run a long race, written a book, or any other large human endeavor, you can understand. You reach that vista, cross that finish line, close out the final chapter, or whatever was your culmination, and you feel gratified. You've accomplished something you didn't know you could do until you did it.

Rebuilding a life feels like that. You can't cut a corner or jump ahead. You just have to do the work, day in and day out - or in this case, year in and year out. Now I'm not saying I'm done. In fact, I now know that I can never stop growing towards the next challenge and its rewards.

But I do know the longcut is the path with the most rewards. It is why I am, perhaps paradoxically, eager to Slow Down and Connect with my work and the people whom it touches.

Want to slow something down in your life to find stronger connections? Want to look for longcuts with me? It'll be worth it, I promise you that.


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