Why You Can't Hack Your Way to Results

I went on a fair few crash diets as a young lass.

If you want to know what I’m like when I’m cranky, talk to me after I’ve only had lemon water and sadness for a week.

If you’re not familiar with the term, a crash diet is an extremely restrictive form of eating that has rapid results. They’re not only risky to your health, but because of their un-sustainability, you end up gaining back every pound you lost and find yourself back at square one. Or worse, back at square one, feeling frustrated and guilty for failing.

There’s a version of crash dieting in every realm…
...studying
...learning a skill
...starting a business.

You can rush into anything you attempt to achieve the fastest possible results without bothering to think about anything beyond immediate gratification.

When I was learning the violin, my first teacher pushed me to learn as quickly as possible—enthusiastically but unwittingly sabotaging my progress.

Six months later, I switched instructors, only to learn that I had been practicing with a poor hand position. Had I continued learning quickly but with poor form, I would have hit a wall and found myself stuck at an amateur level at best.

I had wasted six months worth of time and money, and was later told I needed to start over from the beginning.

And so it is with nearly any skill you attempt to "game" or "hack" in order to learn faster. Often crash dieting your way there means you’re not getting to your goal sooner, you’re actually getting there slower because you need to start over, or create a major setback for yourself.

Many athletes have experienced this in the form of injuries. Push too hard too fast and you’ll set yourself back.

Lose weight too quickly and your hunger and cravings will sneak up on you faster than you can say boston creme donut.

Rushing into anything almost always guarantees failure.

Measured consistency almost always guarantees the opposite.

When you dive into something quickly hoping for the fastest possible results, you also burn out quickly, hit a wall, or have to repeat something because of a setback.

Instead, seek out longevity.

The best results you’ll ever get—in anything—come from sustained practice over years, NOT from quick fixes or rushed progress.

If you’re truly committed to succeeding, and know what you’re working on is something you want to be involved in for years to come, there’s no rush.