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Today, I want to share with you something important. Each time, when I was struggling to find a solution in life or business, I encounter many difficulties. What has helped me to come with a solution even when a situation appeared the toughest one were shortcuts.
The idea of shortcuts might seem odd to many people. The reason can lie in the general tendency of modern society to perceive people who take shortcuts as irresponsible, impatient or even lazy. I will try to show you how and when shortcuts can work.
The school was the first place where I had tried out the shortcuts. During that period, I spent a lot of time in a classroom or my room doing homework. It was not an unusual situation for a boy of my age, but I was very irritated by this situation. It might be that I am the easy going type of person, or too lazy, according to some people, but I was desperate because the school had taken a better part of my time. I needed more spare time to hang out with my friends, so I made up my mind to do something about that. After a while, I got an idea to find a shortcut. Learning from the best was always my motto and I decided to learn from nerds. I began to study their behavior and found out very soon that they did not wait for school work to accumulate. They were fully present at the classes, learned the current lesson immediately, got their marks and moved on further. They freed themselves and was able to do something else. I have noticed that the majority of them did not procrastinate; they did not let the lectures accumulate and got overwhelmed by them. From them, I have learned the importance of active listening. I did not bother much with my marks, but was pretty concerned with finding the easier way to learn. And that is how I began using listening skills and shortened the time needed to do my homework. I have managed to increase my spare time significantly. As a result, I spent more time outside. That was my first shortcut.
“When I am speaking about shortcuts, I do not suggest skipping steps or avoiding things. My idea about shortcuts is based on questions that I frequently ask myself. Namely, I always question myself if something can be done in a faster, easier or better way. For me, the shortcut should provide a better solution that takes less time. I will try to explain with the following example. “
A few years ago, I got an idea to attend the English language course that should help me to speak fluently and talk to strangers with ease. I have already known English grammar pretty well, but I lack conversational skills. After the first three months of attending the course, I did not see any particular progress in my conversational skills. Besides, it took me a lot of time. And what is more, it was quite annoying to spend many hours and a lot of energy while going through heavy traffic twice a week. I was thinking how to find a better solution and devised to learn from people who speak English as their native language. At that time, I still used a dial-up Internet. My decision to replace dial-up Internet with ADSL has shown excellent results. It enabled me to take part in many online discussions on topics that suited my interests. I was much more active than in the course of English language because I choose discussion groups by topics that easy get my attention. Very often I found myself too engaged in a conversation that I almost forgot the fact that I spoke in the foreign language. After several months, I stopped worrying about pronunciation and sentences. I was able to speak fluently. It might be that my grammar was not perfect, but I became more confident about my language skills.
This example points out how making shortcuts have helped me whenever I get stuck. Every time I found myself in a status quo situation, I would try to change something. Interestingly, many people I have met apply a different strategy. In similar situations, they would work harder and take more effort to get better results. Personally, I do not believe in this formula. My logic tells me there are something better than that. Namely, I believe in a flow. Nature is a great source of inspiration for me. Take for example a river. It chooses the simplest way to flow. When it encounters an obstacle, it changes direction. It does not try to flow faster, harder, stronger. In this way, I consider each status quo situation as an opportunity to make a change. It indicates that sometimes things do not work as they should. From time to time, circumstances can change and what worked before, has not worked anymore. When I saw a problem that continually repeats itself, I would consider taking a shortcut.
However, it is not always easy to apply the shortcut. It includes a risk. On the other hand, finding a shortcut means finding a way that no one has stepped into before. Taking a shortcut often includes a possibility to fail. To discover a shortcut expects to be open-minded, willing to take risks, thinking ‘out of the box,’ involving co-workers in finding a new solution. It requires seeing possibilities when other people do not see them. For me, shortcuts work. They help me constantly move with less effort. They mean a search for the simplest and most effective solution. Between hard work, multitasking or looking for a shortcut, I am usually attracted to the last one. I will tell you something more about shortcuts and when they do not work next time.