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The problem with cheat codes

My son was struggling with a difficult part of his game, whichever door he went through, he could progress no further. He tried the window - same result. Over his headset a friend offered to share the cheat code for that scene, and my son refused.

Later I asked him why and he told me that he'd tried cheats before and "they spoil the game". He went on to say if you used the cheat codes, "you are just following instructions and missing the pleasure of the game". You got done faster he said, but when you got to the next level, you hadn't learned anything...

That really struck me. Looking at social and mass media, it's apparent we're obsessed with short cuts and efficiency, speed, accomplishment, achieving goals, winning, being the best.

But what if we are missing on the deeper insight by shortcutting our learning? After all it's the pressure that creates the diamond (and the cutting and polishing that make the gemstone), it's the heat that cooks the meal, it the ageing that makes wine great.

A top vlogger on YouTube has over 12 million followers, after 2 years he had only 17. What he did was show up every week posting a video, building a following, no shortcuts. When asked how he had become so successful he replied, "Overnight success takes five years".

Practice makes permanent, and it's hard and dangerous to shortcut practice. Would you want a pilot who know the cheat codes for the flight simulator? or a researcher who used shortcuts in their analysis of a new drug?

Where are the cheat codes in your life?

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