Growing up I’ve always been told that there were no shortcuts in life. Another quote that I often heard was that there is no substitute for hard work. While I agree that it takes work to achieve goals, I’m skeptical of the fact that the work has to be hard. Instead of the previously mentioned quotes I much prefer “work smarter, not harder”. Consistency and smart approaches have always worked better for me than arduous labor alone. Working smarter is kind of like a shortcut and one great shortcut that I have discovered is mentorship.
When I was a kid playing video games, there was nothing better to me than to come across a cheat code or shortcut that enabled me to skip past a difficult level and go to the next one. I believe mentorship is the equivalent to that. I have seen it work from both sides. When taking piano lessons, I would sometimes stumble on parts when practicing alone only to shown by my instructor in a few seconds a technique that made it much easier. Years of knowledge were instantly transferred to me and I was quickly relieved of my problem and advanced to the next level. I have also shown a friend a few music production techniques that shortened his creation time. Like my piano instructor I was able to instantly see how inefficient his methods were due to my years of experience.
I would say that there are millions of people in the world that have some experience in the goals that we aspire to. We don’t always have to take the longest and hardest road to reach our destination. If you can work together with a teacher or a mentor it may save you the time of making the same mistakes they did as they acquired their knowledge in that field. So why not take advantage of a shortcut to reach your goal quicker? This all ties in to another favorite quote of mine, “a smart man learns from his mistakes, a wise man learns from the mistakes of others”.
-Aaron S. Brown