Shortcuts and Hacks

easyHow many times have you seen these sorts of teaser headlines on the covers of magazines:

  • Get a six-pack belly fast!
  • Six weeks to your best swimsuit body!
  • Lose 40 pounds in just three weeks!
  • Five secret foods to turbocharge your metabolism!

These headlines and the invariably disappointing articles behind them promise a shortcut to the accomplishment of something that normally takes a lot of time and effort. In the web-world these shortcuts are often called hacks.

A hack can be anything from a clever idea that can actually change your life to a ridiculous gimmick that only succeeds in getting the web browser to click on a link. These sorts of hacks are good for advertisers but bad for you and me.

In a guest post on The Art of Manliness, Kyle Eschenroeder argues that the endless quest for the hack, the search for the perfectest, most efficient, most clever approach to some task prevents a lot of people from accomplishing anything

The hacking mindset flatters the part of us who’s lazy, who always wants to take the path of least resistance, who loves feeling superior to the “chumps” who are taking the hard way. But, despite all our new technological advancements, life itself remains stubbornly impervious to hacking. You do not get to cheat death. You do not get to escape being human. You cannot circumvent the universal law which dictates that all goals require work, time, pain, and suffering to attain.

It seems to me that this author could have probably read the Proverbs and reached the same conclusion.