Shortcuts are not worth it!

A friend recently shared a story with me about her 5 year old. My friend was feeling terrible because her son had come to her with a GREAT IDEA! and was so excited about it, and my friend had to break it to her son that it wasn’t a good idea after all. Her son’s brilliant idea? Brushing his teeth 14 times in a row on Monday mornings so that he didn’t have to do it again for A WHOLE WEEK!

As adults, we understand that this isn’t a great way to take care of our teeth. And that is because we have the perspective and understanding about WHY we need to regularly brush our teeth. Possibly we’ve experienced the consequences of not brushing regularly and learned the hard way, or maybe you see the benefits because you’ve always done it well. Our learning and experience has given us perspective on why it’s important to take care of it regularly.

But sometimes, even adults get into situations where they don’t have (or keep!) perspective on what they’re doing. Passion, emotion, and wearing metaphorical blinders can all contribute to these kind of mistakes. It leads to shortcuts that just don’t work.

Some examples:

  • Advocacy at a birth that gets you thrown out and doulas bannned
  • Feeling like everyone needs to birth like you
  • Wanting to appear successful and inflating your credentials and experience.
  • Quick, cheap certification that leaves you unprepared for the job
  • Thinking you don’t need continuing education

Take a look at the picture above from Bryce Canyon – this steep an narrow section of the Navajo Loop Trail has many, many switchbacks, each one is steep in its own right. (I know, I’ve climbed them. Twice!) But as hard as the switchbacks are, trying to go straight up or straight down without them would be worse. Unsafe, even. We all want a quick and easy way. We all love working life hacks. Just remember that the shortcut isn’t always the best way, and sometimes those meanderings that take forever have a real and important purpose.

Please note: Both my friend and her son approved this post.

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