Shortcuts & Rabbit Holes

The Struggle is Real

I sit here day after day for months now, spending hours upon hours researching key components to help guide me on this new adventure I’m on. There’s a lot to learn and a lot of rabbit holes to go down. I’m struggling with shortcuts and rabbit holes. I want shortcuts, but instead, I’m spending time down numerous rabbit holes.

I like learning new things and I’m the type of person who likes to research the hell out of things with the mindset that it is saving me time. I don’t want to go too far in one direction only to learn I should have been doing something else from the start. Learning I can’t do this if I haven’t first done that is frustrating, especially when it means I need to backtrack. These are things I prefer to learn sooner rather than later. I believe all this upfront research down these rabbit holes is saving me from making a lot of mistakes.

I hope.

But I find myself down more rabbit holes than I initially set out to be down. I also find myself down multiple rabbit holes at the same time.

That hurts my brain.

Learning From Others

If other people have already done the work, laid the groundwork, and are willingly sharing their experiences, I’m happy to learn from them. It’s easy for me to spend time researching and learning from their triumphs and mistakes instead of trying to figure everything out for myself.

Well, hold up a minute when I say “easy”, I mean the information is out there, the information is easy to find.

That’s the easy part.

The hard part is the time. I know I need to spend this time learning. Plus, vetting the people I am taking instruction from is key too. There are plenty of people out there willing to sell you their experience and the knowledge they gained. How do I know who is the right person and are they selling the information I really need? How do I know who’s information is good content and I am not paying for information I already know.

Then, I think I have a handle on something only to learn I didn’t have it quite right. I listen to one more person who had that extra bit of information… this is what keeps me wishing for shortcuts but living in rabbit holes.

It’s frustrating because I’d like to be doing. I’d like to already be making significant progress at this. I’d rather be at my end-in-sight already.

At least closer to my end-in-sight.

I want to be six months down the road into this relationship with my new adventure. And, if it is not asking too much, I want to be successful at it.

I frequently think to myself “I wish there was a shortcut. I wish there was an easier way.”

Why There Can’t Be Shortcuts

The more I think about wishing there were shortcuts, the more I realize if a shortcut existed everyone who is interested in this journey would take it. Then it would be easy for everybody and succeeding would lose its meaning.

Our accomplishments don’t come without doing the work.

To be good at something and in order to be a quality contributor to something, we need to do the work.

It’s not possible to be a brain surgeon just because we want to. We need to go to school and have the training, the guidance, and the practice before we ever have the privilege of being a brain surgeon.

Thank God.

It’s not enough to want something, we need to want something bad enough that we understand doing the work to make it happen is an important part. More than that, we need to see doing the work to achieve our goals as a meaningful part of the journey, not an inconvenience.

Pausing to Remind Me

I am writing this piece to remind me of this. It is something for me to look back on when I am losing my drive or feeling overwhelmed. I can read this again when I feel like maybe the work is too much. When I’m convinced my Threshold Guardian is back and maybe I did not defeat him after all.

It’s frustrating me because this work is consuming time, a lot of time. I am researching, taking classes, listening to other people’s stories as well as gaining feedback and critiques. All of these things are very important and necessary while leaving me vulnerable and at times, frustrated.

This is when I start wishing for shortcuts – enough of the rabbit holes.

Then I need to remind myself again of the necessary components I am gathering and learning while in these rabbit holes. The skills I’m acquiring, the people I’m meeting, the lessons I’m learning regarding the reasons certain things are the way they are. This is all making me stronger and more confident.

Having invested a significant amount of time and having followed a necessary process of growth and learning ensures the people at the finish line are the right people. Meaning no one gets to be a brain surgeon just because they want to. The only ones who get to be brain surgeons are the people who have done the work.

That’s why there are no shortcuts. The dedication, commitment, and time invested are essential. The lessons learned and the skills acquired are all necessary.

Preparation Meets Opportunity

Some people get to their destination quicker than others. Part of that is preparedness and opportunity coming together at the right time. Part of that is people taking the time to educate themselves and not just jump in without trying to figure out the proper way to do things. Learning that there is a procedure to things and implementing that procedure is all part of success.

Well, that, and having/acquiring the skills to do whatever it is.

Thinking you’re great at what you do and thinking you deserve recognition and success isn’t enough. That mindset will hurt us if we believe that is all it takes.

It comes down to hard work, time, commitment, and consistency. Those are the keys to achieving success.

I think another component is truly having a passion for what you are doing and not just seeing it as an avenue toward financial success. When we truly feel we are where we are supposed to be, and truly feel we are feeding our spirit, I believe this is where success lives.

Even if it takes some time for it to happen. Without passion and drive, any monetary success could leave us feeling empty.

Recognizing the Importance

Even though at times I wish there were shortcuts, I wish I could wave a magic wand and be further along on my journey.

The reality is, I am not.

I am just starting this journey again after years of being away. And I need to accept that. I need to do the work all over again, I don’t get to pick right up where I left off.

I need to understand all the things I’m learning at this beginning stage are essential. I need to appreciate them, and I need to accept them as necessary.

I will also add this about shortcuts, I have found they sometimes make the journey longer – ironically enough.

When we try to bypass steps and skip things to get to where we want to be, chances are we find we need to go back because we missed something important. We most likely wasted time by jumping ahead, thinking we were making progress.

Shortcuts sound like a great idea. In the long run, in a lot of cases, they hurt more than they help.

Instead of wishing for shortcuts, I need to keep my head down, continue researching, continue learning from others, continuing having the conversations I need to have to help keep me on my path and guide me.

Wrapping it All Up

That’s my roadmap to success.

I can feel the energy and the positivity when I am engaged in the process and am in acceptance that this is the journey. The result will be more rewarding because I am gaining a sense of accomplishment with each victory along the way – it’s no longer only about reaching my end in sight.

What I have realized is, I am not sure we ever reach our “end-in-sight”. I will get a lot of this learning and rabbit hole business behind me but then I have the actual doing. And, there will always be more learning. First, because the topics I write about take research. Second, the tools I am using update, reinvent themselves and evolve so I need to stay on top of that.

Originally my goal was to get to the end, but I am learning the goal is actually to enjoy the journey. Especially since it seems the journey doesn’t stop and the “end” keeps moving. That is the essence of life. Acceptance in the movement of the end and enjoying the learning that comes with the journey.

When I live in acceptance, this is where I find joy and peace.

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