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The Illusion of Shortcuts: A Path to Nowhere

"The harder I work, the luckier I get." - Samuel Goldwyn

Every morning, as tie my running shoes, I can't help but wonder: are there shortcuts to achieving my goals? We are being tempted on a daily, if not hourly basis to think there are shortcuts to our dreams. With all the ads promising quick fixes—like magic shots for weight loss, a pill to help your run faster, a course that teaches you to make $20,000 trading options—it's easy to fall for these promises of a shortcut to success. But do these shortcuts really lead us where we want to go? I think we all know the answer, but there is that little part of brain that still wants to believe the shortcut is the best way. This week I've been focused on staying consistent in my habits, and it's not easy. But as the quote I highlighted above says, we get lucky when we work hard which to me means staying consistent!

In life, we all crave three things: health, wealth, and relationships. We see others achieving these goals seemingly effortlessly, and we want the same for ourselves. So, we chase after shortcuts, hoping they'll fast-track us to our desired destination.

Shortcuts are appealing because we've witnessed them working for others. At least that's how it appears from the outside looking in. But what we often don't see is the messiness that comes with them.

Think about lottery winners, who end up losing their fortunes within a couple of years. Without the habits of managing wealth, sudden windfalls can lead to a vicious cycle of gain and loss.

I've seen so many people (even myself a time or two) stumble upon a seemingly foolproof stock trading strategy, overconfidence sneaks in, things seem so easy you start leveraging more, after all you can't lose, and then... confusion sets in when the strategy stops working. At first it's denial, that quickly turns into panic. Without the repetition and experience to understand why the foolproof way of making money suddenly stopped you are right back where you started!

This applies to health as well, like appetite-curbing shots, that extreme diet of avoiding entire food groups, might offer temporary relief. But without building sustainable habits, we're bound to revert to old patterns, finding ourselves back at square one. Trust me, I've been tempted by the shortcuts too. But, deep down I know the best way to get the desired result, is my consistently working on my inputs.

We all need to build habits aligned with our goals. It's not just about hitting the jackpot; it's about what we do with it. My happiness and satisfaction changed when instead of fixating on the end goal—a certain weight or a specific amount of money—I focused on the life I want to live. Why wait for a million dollars to live your dream life, when you can take small steps towards them every day? Why should you wait until your 'goal' weight to enjoy life now? There is no good reason!

Sure, shortcuts might offer temporary relief, but true success comes from consistent effort and learning. Instead of chasing after quick fixes, let's adopt the habits of those we admire. Let's enjoy the journey, knowing that every step forward brings us closer to our dreams.

These are reminders and tips I used to ditch the shortcuts and build habits that work:

  1. Pick your dream life: What does freedom look like for you? Traveling the world? Spending more time with family? Having enough money to do what you love? Once you know your goal, start building habits that get you there. Start living your dream on a smaller scale, once you get a taste of your dreams you will be more inclined to keep going!

  2. Small steps, big wins: Don't try to change everything at once! This one has gotten me so many times. You don't have to turn the dial from 0 to 10... Moving from 0 to 2 is way more sustainable! Start with tiny habits you can easily do every day, like saving a little money each week or 30 minutes of studying a day. Even small changes add up over time!

  3. Copy the champs: Look at people you admire who achieved their dreams. What habits do they have? Learn from their success, copy their good habits, but feel free to make them your own. We are so much more successful when we feel like the habit makes sense to us.

  4. Enjoy the ride: Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. Celebrate your small wins, and focus on how good it feels to be moving towards your dream life.

So, the next time you're tempted by a shortcut, remember: success isn't found in the destination but in the journey itself. I know it doesn't feel like it all the time, but deep down we all know it's true. Let's build habits that lead us to lasting freedom, one step at a time.

I'm here for you, ready to support and encourage every step of the way. Head over to my Instagram at @playbooktofreedom for ongoing motivation and a community where we navigate stock market trading together.


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