Short cuts and the long way

It’s tempting to take the short cut, to imagine that you’ve found a quicker and easier (painless!) way of achieving something. Everyone else is a stickler for unnecessary rules, or unimaginative, or caught in habit.

What this view doesn’t take into account is that everything has a price. Whether in energy, time, money or emotional labour. Even the short cut.

Why this is important is that the price for the long way is obvious in advance. You know what you have to do to get there. The sticker is on the box.

The price for the short cut is hidden, opaque. You don’t know what it is but you will still have to pay it. More time maybe. Or more money. Or blood-boiling frustration.

Taking this hidden cost into account, the short cut may not be worth it. You might not be such a genius for thinking of it. Perhaps there is a very good reason “it’s always been done this way”.

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