Friday, September 02, 2011

There are no shortcuts (but there are optimal paths)

We love shortcuts, especially here in America. Why diet when you can cleanse? Why exercise when you've got the Shake Weight?

The truth is there are no shortcuts. My daughter Marissa once tried to use her Magic 8-Ball as a wishing machine. She would say something like, "Will I have a playdate with Anna this weekend?" But she quickly learned that the results didn't always come true.

However, there are optimal paths. Eating a low-carb diet can reduce your hunger and lead to gradual weight loss. A well-designed workout will deliver better results than randomly exercising.

You can't get out of doing the work, but you can figure out the smartest way to work.

3 comments:

Victor J. Torres said...

I totally agree. Any insights on finding these optimal paths?

For me I try to use:
-80/20 analysis whenever possible
-Reach out to experts and trusted sources
-Mentors
-Testing for results

I like how Tim Ferriss puts it as the search for the "Minimum Effective Dose"

Chris said...

Always start with the surrogacy principle. If someone else has already done it successfully, figure out how they did it. If you don't have any examples, find one in an adjacent space.

Mae Loraine Jacobs said...

I think shortcuts are necessary, but as expected, you cannot count on them for long-term results. For example, in Internet marketing, paid techniques are shortcuts, but you cannot rely on them forever, as you need organic SEO, among others, to really make a dent in search results.