Wouldn’t it be great if life had an easy button? Something you could press when you wanted to take the shortcut to success. Instead of putting in the time and effort to learn, to do the hard work, you could simply wish what you want into existence.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t seem like it from what you see on the internet, but what you read isn’t reality. These stories can generally be broken down into the following categories:

  1. The lies
    Yes, whether you want to believe it or not, fake news is real. The story of the person who put in the hours is not interesting. People like to hear about the instant rags-to-riches stories. Unfortunately, most of these aren’t real.
  2. The glamorized success story
    While not a lie, some success stories are made to look like they happened overnight when they were actually years in the making. Following someone who’s plodding along isn’t interesting. What’s interesting is taking years of hard work and boiling down into the 5 minutes of fame YouTube video, which seems to be the limit of our attention span these days.
  3. The long and winding road
    While not popular, these stories are out there. They’re not fun because it shows that real success takes time, a lot of time. They take work, a lot of work. Not only is the reward worth the effort but so is the journey to get there.
  4. Getting rich quick
    Rare, but they do exist. They’re like the searching for Moby Dick. You can spend you’re entire life chasing the short path to success and miss out on the rewards that are part of the long journey.

So what’s my point? Life is a journey, and our reward is that journey. Instead of looking for the easy button, life is about putting in the time and effort, learning and growing every day, and committing to the hard work it takes to achieve lasting success. It’s both more rewarding and more fulfilling.

Don’t fall into the trap of searching for the easy button. It’s easy to do, and even if you do find it, you might be surprised that it’s not all that’s it cracked up to be.

Inspired by Seth Godin’s post, Chasing the cool kids. It’s worth the read, and some of the best advice I’ve seen on searching for shortcuts on the internet.

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