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The Tempting Path of Least Resistance

Let’s find our path, and then build the behaviors and actions that will allow us to navigate it to our desires and our destiny.

Chris Saraceno is the Vice President & Partner of the Kelly Automotive Group. Visit kellycar.com.

Can Happiness & Prosperity be Found at the End of the Shortcut?

There’s an ad currently going around on social media that claims you can lose 20, 40, 60 or 100 pounds without dieting and exercising. All you have to do is take one pill before bedtime and the weight will just flow from you until you are your ideal weight. The before-and-after pictures of smiling, satisfied customers holding up their “big” clothes even show that these people — somehow — have increased muscle tone. 

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One pill, and just like that, all your health needs are met. No effort required.

Of course, we all know that this is the very definition of “too good to be true,” but it’s human nature to want to find the shortcut. We want that magic solution that will make our dreams come true without having to put in the work. Who wouldn’t?

Like anything worth doing, having a healthy body, creating a successful career and building a strong marriage takes daily effort. It takes time and work. My Theory of 5 mentors and I have found that those people with the highest levels of happiness and prosperity didn’t live that life by accident; they had to put in the time, effort and work to earn it. 

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With the exception of the sons and daughters of the mega-rich who may be given an advantage, or those who have won the lottery, most of us will not inherit the money, connections or companies that we yearn to earn or build. We will have to put in the effort to forge this future. We have to possess the passion and perseverance to work, knowing that it’s the path to the lives we want to live. 

The Dangers of the Shortcut

One drawback of constantly looking for the “easy” path is that it takes exertion to find these shortcuts and go down that path. That’s effort that could have been spent taking the actions that we know will get us closer to our goals. 

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Another danger of constantly looking for the shortcut is when it inevitably fails, we can be discouraged — and with enough discouragement, we might give up on our goal entirely. So many people give up on their dreams without ever taking the action that would move them closer to their desired results.

Shortcuts Vs. Direct Routes

My mentors have modeled the philosophy that short-term, quick-fix pleasures must be set aside to build a life with firm foundations. Those foundations must be in place before real, lasting success can be achieved. 

Now, by understanding the true nature of the path we want to travel, we can potentially make it easier on ourselves without having to resort to a “shortcut” mindset. If we want to lose 20 pounds or put on extra muscle mass, having a good understanding of nutrition and proper exercise forms will be invaluable. If we don’t, we can put in the effort and not see the results, or take a much longer path before ultimately achieving our desired results.

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If we want to move up in a dealership, simply “being good” with customers isn’t enough. We have to understand our products inside and out. We must be able to answer questions about our inventory, our financing, our services and many other matters without having to consistently leave the customer alone and “go find out.” 

Again, this is where mentoring can be so valuable to our efforts — when we listen to their advice and act on it. When we find someone who has already achieved what we have set out to do, they can tell us what worked for them, what lessons they learned and can point out where we might have opportunities for growth.

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Keep in mind that this is not a “shortcut” — it’s education and experience guiding us toward the most direct, efficient path to success. When we put our hearts, minds and souls into traveling in this direction, we’ll reach our desired destination, and we’ll do it faster. It won’t be easy, but it’s easier than blindly striking off in some direction we’re not sure about.

Don’t Give Up

In discussions with my mentors, we’ve discovered that the “average” person gives up a new goal or dream if they don’t see results in the first few days or weeks. To excel, these actions take passion and persistence. They are not “once in a while” behaviors; they must be followed through daily, weekly and yearly, decade after decade. This perseverance is the one common trait we’ve seen in all successful people.

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Let’s find our path, and then build the behaviors and actions that will allow us to navigate it to our desires and our destiny. While others are searching everywhere for shortcuts, we’ll be that much closer to achieving our dreams.

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