Taking a Shortcut – Character Creates Opportunity®: Thursday, March 14, 2019

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  

As things like technology continue to transform our lives in so many ways, we are still hindered by some of the basic human tendencies to look for a shortcut in the important and very challenging situations in our lives. Here are a few recent examples:

  • Another college admissions scandal where people were trying to find a shortcut to get into some of the best schools in the nation.
  • Politicians who pitch sound-bite ideas to solve some of the most complex, multi-generational challenges of our nation.
  • A dizzying amount of relationship quick fixes that bring the false-hope of making conflict and despair quickly disappear from our closest relationships.

As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, it is important that we swallow an adult dose of reality and fully appreciate that there are no shortcuts to making a sustained difference in the important things in life.

Let’s face it, we all would like a shortcut to solving some challenges. “There has to be an easier way” is a recurring theme when we face a difficult challenge. There may well be a few efficiencies or techniques that can help, but there is no “easy” way to address the more challenging events in our lives.

Here are a few reminders of truth as we tackle challenges in our lives:

  1. It is getting close to springtime in many parts of the country. The spring season reminds us of the one basic natural law that directly translates into a relevant, practical, and universal truth necessary to accomplish our hopes and dreams: The Law of the Harvest; simply, you reap what you sow. There is no short cut to an abundant harvest. We must prepare the ground and plant the seed in spring and cultivate the crops throughout the summer growing season in order to reap an abundant harvest. Achieving the important things in life adhere to this same simple truth…with no exception.
  2. Universal principles like persistence, courage, compassion and hope are needed to guide us to achieving the important things in life. A quick-fix has never been shown to have a sustained impact over the long haul.  A few helpful techniques do come about over time, but it is time-tested principles that form the foundation to eventually bring about the results we are desiring to achieve. 
  3. Extending the opportunity to others for a second chance, especially those closest to us, is important to the long-term health of close relationships. If we are self-aware enough and take an honest look at our own personal history, we probably have made some decisions to find a shortcut or we took the bait for a seemingly cheap, easy way to accomplish some major goals. Our poor choices may not have made the national news (which I am sure we are all thankful for) so we should guard against getting too personally judgmental on those that did have the spotlight shine on them and simply let the scales of justice handle the process.  Perhaps extending the opportunity for a second chance will help them in their time of need. I am sure we would appreciate some support if we found ourselves in a similar situation.  

As we all move into springtime, let’s use the reminder of the law of the harvest to guide us to principle-based decisions and actions in facing our challenges, both big and small. As we avoid some troublesome shortcut, we will build and strengthen our character, and Character Creates Opportunity to achieve our goals no matter how difficult they may seem in our present situation.

Carefree driving on an empty road at sunset