Reminder to self: there ain’t no such thing as a shortcut.
Yesterday on Instagram I put up a video of my son playing the drums.
The caption: How do we become great?
The hashtag: #practice.
Later, on Facebook, my friend Travis posted an article about the differences between “teachers” and “gurus.” Gurus, he said, sell you a feeling. A fleeting, feel good moment disguised as motivation. When that moment is over you’re back to the drawing board looking for some other shortcut.
Gurus are the purveyors of of just that - shortcuts. Shortcuts to instant success, overnight riches, and a toned butt.
A teacher, on the other hand, will tell you like it is: there are no shortcuts. It all comes down to practice. They’ll show you how to do it, but you have to put in the work.
You play your guitar, every day.
You go to the gym, every day.
You shoot 200 free throws, every day.
Whatever you want to master, you practice it every day.
Along with practice, though, you have to be vigilant because the Gurus are everywhere peddling their wares. They’ve gotten really sophisticated in their ability to make themselves look like legitimate, so if you’re not careful you’ll be the fool who is parted with his money.
Trust me, I’ve been there.
Many years ago, when I was getting started in real estate, I spent more that I care to discuss on all manner of snake oil promising me the shortuct to droves of new clients and instant riches. Of course, none of it worked.
Likewise, a pill will never be a shortcut for healthy diet and exercise. Remember Hydroxycut? I tried that stuff after someone told me it was the shortcut to getting six pack abs. All I got was a lighter wallet and heart palpitations.
And then one time, as a shortcut to get people to attend an event I was hosting, I bought a list of 10,000 email addresses from a company that sold what they said were targeted mailing lists. Along with zero attendees it got me a couple dozen responses from people I pissed off, a threatening letter from my ISP, and my MailChimp account suspended.
It all comes back to advice we’ve heard all our lives. If it sounds too goo to be true, it probably is.
And, 99% of the time, shortcuts are too good to be true