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One step at a time
A hill is not too hard to climb
Taken one step at a time,
One step is not too much to take;
One try is not too much to make,
One step, one try, one song, one smile
Will shortly stretch into a mile,
And everything worthwhile was done
By small steps taken one by one,
To reach the goal you started for,
Take one step more… Take one step more.
– James Dillet Freeman, American Poet
This is my all-time favorite poem because it contains the greatest life advice you’ll ever get. Too many people dream about the finish line and want success to be easier than it is. Then they wonder why they never achieve it. The desire for “easy” is the road to ruin. We live in an era of people trying to skip steps, take short cuts and cut corners. They justify corner cutting by giving it sexy names like: hack, growth hacks, business hacks, productivity hacks.
The dictionary defines “hack” several ways and none of them are flattering.
- To damage or injure by crude, harsh, or insensitive treatment; mutilate; mangle
- To circumvent security and break into (a network, computer, file, etc.), usually with malicious intent.
- To take a poor, ineffective, or awkward swing at the ball.
And my favorite of their definitions is “to play at a mediocre level”.
So, do you still want to be a growth hacker?
Very few it seems are willing to delay gratification and take the necessary steps, one step at a time. There are no shortcuts to true personal and professional success. It’s a marathon not a sprint no matter how many “growth hacks” you try. Besides, not everything can be “hacked” and I’d argue nothing worthwhile can be hacked.
What does skipping steps really get you?
- Cut corners in the weight room and your form suffers then you get injured.
- Try to short cut the sales process and your results suffer.
- Skip steps in the workplace and your quality suffers then your reputation suffers.
- Take short cuts in your personal life and your relationships suffers.
Are you looking for an easier way because THE RIGHT WAY is hard?
There are two kinds of pain you can suffer: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.
To avoid suffering, people waste years trying dozens of different easy “hacks” whether it’s with fad diets and supplements or flavor of the month corporate training gimmicks and get rich quick schemes. The tragic irony of it is that years later they’ve gotten nowhere, have nothing to show for it but regret. Suffering the pain of regret is the worst kind of suffering my friends.
In the amount of time they wasted on short cuts, they could’ve actually suffered the pain of discipline by putting the work in the right way and reaping the benefits over time.
The Bottom Line: Cutting corners actually cuts progress.