The other day I happened to notice my son using google translate to do his French Homework. While I can appreciate his creativity in finding the most efficient way to complete his home work, as a parent I know that using a tool like this is defeating the whole purpose of doing the work in the first place, which is to learn French.

In homework just as in life, shortcuts rarely lead to success.

In homework just as in life, shortcuts rarely lead to success.

When I asked him why he was using a translating tool to do his home work, he said that he wanted to get perfect on his homework so that we (his Mother and I) and his teacher would be happy with him…

In a world so focused on results, many times we try to find shortcuts that end up hurting us in the long run, and this was no different in the case of my son’s homework. I explained why he needed to do his homework without outside help, and how it would help him to learn a new skill that will help him for the rest of his life and thankfully he understood. But it got me thinking about my own career.

For example, in the real estate industry, many realtors constantly take short cuts in their marketing, always looking to generate more business the quickest way possible. The problem is that by doing this they never develop a proper business, always chasing the next shiny object or promise to increase their business instead of taking the time to focus on their customers.

In today’s fast paced world we are encouraged to look for the path of least resistance. Whether in business or personal life, we are always looking to take a short cut, be more efficient or make more money. While all of those are great goals to have in and of themselves, by taking shortcuts we often rob ourselves of learning something new, building a solid foundation and in many cases hurt our chances of success in the long run.