There is no shortcut but there is a path

bluebell-path-060608I read those words from Steven Covey’s book “First Things First” and they arrested my mind for the rest of the day.

Think about it… we all want to see change of some sort in our lives… and most of us want to see it quickly… if not immediately.

You know there is a way to change, you (and me) just want it done quicker than “the way.”

Let me illustrate:

  • You want to lose weight. You know there is “a way” (change your eating habits, add exercise to your daily routine, get more rest). But you want to lose that extra weight before you go to the beach… in two weeks! What to do? Follow the path or look for a shortcut?
  • You want to get out of debt. You know there is “a way” (spend less than you make and use the leftover to pay off debt – this is how I’m doing it). The problem is that you still want that new laptop (or whatever toy you “need” to have). What to do? Follow the path or look for a shortcut?
  • You want a great marriage. You know there is “a way” (the two meetings: date night and the “Coin and Calendar” meeting). It’s just that that “way” takes so much time and a weekly commitment too! What to do? Follow the path or look for a shortcut?

Sometimes there is a shortcut… but mostly in areas that don’t matter all that much.

What I’ve found is that in the areas that matter, permanent change is rarely found at the end of a shortcut. In fact, shortcuts often lead to wasted time, discouragement, and disillusionment.

The best way to make permanent changes is to avoid the shortcuts and follow the path.

The path is there because so many people have moved in the same direction… done the same things… and ended up exactly where you want to be. The path is an indicator that “this way works!”

Sure, not all paths lead to permanent and positive change. But let me promise you this… most shortcuts don’t either!

So here’s the key…

  • Determine where you want to go or what you want to do.
  • Look at what people have done to get where you want to be.
  • Follow their path.

I’m actually going to be teaching on this principle in October of this year so I’d love to hear your feedback on this idea. Tell me your stories. How has following the path or taking a shortcut impacted your life?

You can either comment on this blog or send me a private e-mail at thepaulpeterson@gmail.com. Thanks!

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