I was reading a transcript of the The Tim Ferriss Show when he had on Seth Godin, and the part that particularly struck me was when Seth talked about the 'long-cut'. The opposite of a short-cut, the long-cut is the paradigm that success takes proper amount of time to achieve. The contemporary Internet world is full of charlatans selling life-hacks, short-cuts, and methods aimed at getting at success more quickly, and it's all bullshit.
Underneath all good results are years of hard-work and nose on the grindstone.
But most people don't see that. All they see is the party at the end and figure the planning part took no time whatsoever. Add in an unhealthy dose of instant-gratification culture and it's no wonder those lists with tips and tricks like how to lose weight quickly (for example) are so popular. Nobody wants to be told it'll take a massively long time and the work will be tedious and draining.
Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway fame was once asked what are the methods to his success, and he replied the person asking the question merely wanted to know how to arrive at Charlie's achievements but faster. He cautioned even with his distilled processes it's going to take a commensurate amount of years and decades.
I can certainly commiserate with the instant-gratification crowd, because some days it's difficult to concentrate when the end of the tunnel is so bloody far away. I believe success in life is achieved via compounding, where it's the little things done consistently everyday that will pile up into something remarkable after a prolonged period of time. The daily interest of a savings account is rather minuscule but after a few years it'll be a nice chunk of change.
The long cut: I shall remind myself constantly of this. As the back-cover of Jocko Willink's 'Discipline Equals Freedom' book says:
"There is no shortcut. There is no hack. There's only one way. So get after it."