Shortcuts vs. Hacking

Casey Neistat (l) and Gary Vaynerchuk (r).
I’m a fan Casey Neistat and especially Gary Vaynerchuk’s mature wisdom. Something that both of these optimistic and successful men talk about repeatedly is that there’s no shortcut to success. The “secret” to success is simple, actually: Hard. Work.

It’s that simplicity that I think bothers a lot of people. They want the road to success to be an easy formula that if someone would just share that secret with them, they’d be successful. They want something that can be implemented easily, like sending out ONE tweet or uploading ONE post. If success were that easy, wouldn’t everyone be successful?

There is, however, no formula. The only way to success is to work hard at the right things on a consistent basis. This is a lesson I’ve only recently learned and wish that I’d known it 20 years ago.

But wishing won’t get me back those 20 years of flailing, misdirection, dead ends and lack of progress. Instead, I’m focused on now and the future. And since I’m 20 years behind other artists in skills and knowledge, I need to acquire those skills and knowledge as quickly as possible if I’m to execute all of the ideas I have.

Therefore, what I do and how I do it is crucially important. Vaynerchuk and Neistat are often asked for secrets and shortcuts. That idea is a huge mistake, especially if you’re young. Your youth is the time to be patient, learn and experience so you can execute on the things you’ve learned when you get older.

I realize that there are no shortcuts to me becoming a better artist. There are, however, hacks I can use to improve my work quickly. To me there’s a big difference. A shortcut bypasses and skips. I already tried that and discovered that I missed a lot and had to go back and re-learn. A HUGE waste of time!

On the other hand, hacking is about efficiency. It’s about determining what the best in my field did to get where they are and to focus only on those things that will improve my skills quickly. I’ve studied John K, Leonardo Da Vinci, Stan Prokopenko, Marshall Vandruff and Aaron Blaise in an effort to distill what took them years to learn, focusing only on what works and not wasting time with that which doesn’t work. They’re willing to teach so I’m willing to sit at their feet and learn.

I look forward to discovering what works best in my course of study so I, too, can share it with those willing to learn. Because it’s NEVER too late to learn something new.

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