Lessons Learned from a Shortcut Attempt
Have you ever tried taking a shortcut for something? I know I have.
In high school we'd get Cliff Notes to avoid reading the entire book in English class. The other day I tried taking a shortcut to the store. Turned out a road was closed so it ended up taking me longer.
The desired outcome is clear but the effort to get there requires a lot of hard work, time and effort. That makes the detour for a shortcut seem like the best option to take.
Well guess what? Shortcuts are not always the way to go. I experienced that firsthand several years ago.
I chose an independent study program to become a certified personal trainer. Read a chapter, watch a video, do an activity, and take a chapter test. Repeat for 20 chapters within 6 months and take a final exam to acquire certification.
Sound do-able? I thought so.
At the time I was teaching kindergarten full time and always had just one more thing I wanted to get done for school. No surprise, the first 6 months passed by without completing the chapters. $200 got me an extension and as that exam deadline approached, I knew I wouldn't quite be finished.
Frustrated with myself, I called the company. The sales guy recommended I take the test no matter how many chapters I had completed. If I passed, great. If I didn't, then I would pay for another extension.
That felt like a shortcut, but I really didn't want to pay more money. With 5 chapters to go I shifted my focus and prepared for the exam. I thought I was ready - or ready enough - and on the day of the exam I missed it by one point.
A couple weeks later I passed the exam and got my certification. But I believe God had some lessons for me to learn along the way:
Finish the course. Don't try to cut corners if there is knowledge to be learned. I needed to finish the last 5 chapters. I needed to do more work, find the information I didn't know and learn it before taking the test again. Simply reviewing the content wasn't enough. Do it right. Finish the course.
Go with your gut. Especially when taking a test. The first response is typically right. I went back and changed several answers at the end. Had I left them alone, I would have passed the first time. Don't second guess yourself. You know more than you think.
Rocky roads are part of the journey. They just are - because that is where the best learning occurs. In order to get to the peak, you must cover some rocky ground, maybe even stub your toe while stumbling over some boulders. The lessons that help you grow the most happen along the tough terrain. Be on the lookout for them. They're there for a reason.
Get back on the bike. Failure is a part of life. When you fall off your bike you get back up and try it again. You don't park it and let it collect dust. This is true with anything. I knew I could pass the test. I just had to get back to the book and do the work. Saving it for later was not an option.
Missing that test by one point was not fun. But having the courage to fail and the resilience to bounce back was well worth the rocky ground along the way.
Are there areas in your life where you've been trying to cut corners? Where might you be looking for a quick fix? If fitness or nutrition is one of them and you are not currently working with us, just hit the button below to set up a Complimentary Success Session. We'll come up with a plan to help you finish the course and get back on track!
To your health,