Sometimes short cuts are not worth taking. They may bring you quick money but they do not make you become a better, stronger or more skilful person.
On the internet a lot of people are promoting private label products. You pay some money and get the rights to put your name on software or ebooks. In other words you claim credit for having achieved something you haven't.
So far I have resisted the temptation to buy these rights. I would feel uneasy about claiming to be the author of a book I had not written. What happened to honesty?
Another reason for not buying private label ebooks is that they take away your chance to become a writer. Why bother to learn the skills of writing if you can buy the fruits of someone else's hard work and claim their efforts as your own? You lose the incentive to become an expert author in your own right.
Some people are offering products in the rough. You do some work on these and then can put your name to them. This is more acceptable in my view since most writers borrow or adapt the ideas and occasionally the words of other writers. Few books are ever totally original.
The foreword to one of my books is written by a copywriter. I offered to put his name to it but like many copywriters he preferred to keep his name out of the equation. Maybe he didn't like my book!
In the martial arts world, many students want to become black belts as soon as possible with the minimum of work. They show up to lessons before a grading exam is due and are content to scrape through and get their next belt and then they disappear until the next exam is imminent.
They do not realize that they are missing out on the satisfaction and power of becoming a real black belt. They think that having a black belt round their waist somehow makes them great. It doesn't.
You can tell the black belts who have really earned their black belt a mile off. They take your breath away with their power and skill or, failing that, with their determination and effort.
I was never very skilful at my gradings but I did, at least once, get an award for effort and, at my black belt grading, one person, at least, described my performance as 'awesome'. He wasn't a friend or relative! I was in some pain after the grading and had trouble lying down and standing up but the joy of achieving the belt lasted for weeks.
My Taekwondo Teacher, Master Hock Lye Ooi, once offered to give any one who wanted it a blackbelt: "Here come and take it." He was making the point that being given a blackbelt for free means nothing. Any one can buy one in a shop or order one on the net. There is no emotional satisfaction in getting a black belt when you have avoided the hard work necessary to achieve it.
One of my Karate teacher's favourite admonishments was that, if you are not working flat out, "you are only cheating yourself." He was right.
In the Contenders boxing reality show run by Sylvester Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard, some of the boxers pick the toughest fighters as their opponents. They are not at ease with taking short cuts by picking a weak opponent. They know that, if they face up to the most fearsome opponents, they can walk tall anywhere. They will have paid their dues.
Others are more concerned to win the million dollar prize than they are to become great boxers by fighting great opposition. They pick the boxer they believe they can demolish easily. These 'short cut' boxers will probably fail to win the prize anyway because they will not have become worthy of it.
In the long run, working hard and paying your dues is in fact easier than doing things in a half-hearted way. If you charge into a rugby union scrum with minimum effort and aggression, you will probably get hurt.
If you do anything properly and thoroughly, you will feel much happier than if you are skiving and taking things easy at every opportunity. Even making your bed well can be satisfying and you will sleep better!
The great Jim Rohn, as usual, sums all this up perfectly:
"The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become. That is why I wish to pay fair price for every value. If I have to pay for it or earn it, that makes something of me. If I get it for free, that makes nothing of me."
However, there are ways in which you can make any work you do much more effective and even easier. By using affirmation, prayer and visualization techniques you can enlist the aid of your subconscious mind and the power and abundance of the universe. This is not so much a shortcut as a way to row downstream instead of upstream!