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The Price of the Shortcut

Hasten slowly and ye shall soon arrive. - Jetsun Milarepa

Anyone who has ever taken a lesson with me knows that I love a good analogy as much as anybody. One that y I like to use with my students is the comparison of inefficient and impatient practice with rushing out the door. We know how things happen when we get ready in a rush! This is when we drop, spill, knock things down, and forget important steps in our morning routine. We might make it out of the house in time, but with crumpled clothes, disheveled hair, coffee stained pants, and our packed lunch sitting back home in the fridge.

This is sometimes how a performance coming from inefficient practice can feel to the performer and sound to the audience. Rushed, unpolished, uninspired, and unenjoyable.

In his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey wrote: “The price must be paid and the process followed. You always reap what you sow: there is no shortcut.” We can/should read that one again, as there are few truer statements. Make no mistake about it: the price must and will be paid. Sooner or later. Shortcuts are, in fact, expensive time-wasting dead ends.