No Secrets, Shortcuts, or Wormholes to Success


By Manda Perkins Published on December 2, 2016

What I have to say about doing well in school, or life, will probably be unpopular. When it comes to homework, excelling at work, or reaching our highest aspirations in life, we are all looking for shortcuts. That’s just human nature; we all do it. Who wouldn’t like a shortcut once in a while?  We’re constantly being told that we “deserve” it, but the truth is we don’t deserve it anymore than other people do.

The life of most American students is hectic with no assurance of success. Where we spend our time is a gamble. But thinking realistically about how to achieve your life’s goals can improve our chances of accomplishing them. The secret to doing well may be realizing there are no secrets, shortcuts, or wormholes to success. Success is mostly the tried-and-true principle of hard work.

If traveling is a metaphor for life, we spend a good deal of our journey searching for easy shortcuts, something that will save us time and hard work. Sure, there’s the smart way and the wrong way to just about any chore in life, but there are seldom shortcuts. General Colin Powell said, “There are no secrets to success: don’t waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence.”

Jump in and don’t expect everything in life to be easy. Tackle your challenges the best you can. If it’s school, do one assignment at time, doing the very best work you can. In the end, that hard work will uncover even more opportunities for you because others will recognize that your hard work has made you a capable person. And that capacity does not come from shying away from a challenge or hard work.


About the Author

Mitch Aagard is an instructor at the Salt Lake City campus of Stevens-Henager College where he teaches in the general education department. He has a working background in education, business and writing. He holds an undergraduate degree in English and graduate degrees in Leadership and Business Administration.