I’ve recently been following the growth of a Giant Puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea) in my backyard. These fascinating fungi can become enormous, and they’re edible when harvested early. They have the added benefit of entertaining the young at heart as they expand and grow until they pop open and spread their spores in dusty plumes.
Every time it gets bigger, I find something to place next to it to gauge its growth and compare its size. I found that various athletic balls work perfectly for this. I never expected it to make it to the basketball stage.
Mushrooms, like some plants, can grow quickly compared to people. I’ve seen one poke through the ground one day, and it is full height with an open cap by the next. But not everything changes or grows that fast, especially when it comes to our successes. Most things in our lives take time, and there are no shortcuts in life.
As much as we would love for changes to happen fast, that would create chaos all around us. Glaciers would carve our planet with the intensity of an earthquake. The seasons would flit by before plants could grow. Imagine eating some delectable chocolate brownies and putting on 40 pounds overnight—that would be terrifying!
It takes time and many chocolate brownies to add inches to our waistlines. If we want to lose weight, it will take time for that to happen too, and some hard work. Slow changes over time make those glaciers, plants, and devilish brownies so successful, and they will make us successful.
Anything worth doing will take a little time and effort. Whether it’s learning a new skill, saving money, or starting a career, the journey may be long and arduous. If we work diligently, we are more likely to see success than if we rush through things.
Now, some will say that taking a shortcut is a good thing, such as on their way to work. I say that isn’t a shortcut but an alternate route. We are more efficient with our time and resources. But if thoroughness is part of the equation or high risk is involved, then shortcuts are best avoided.
It’s much safer to plan an alternate route ahead of time than to choose a shortcut while in heavy traffic. Long-term savings and investments are more reliable and profitable than get-rich-quick schemes. When it comes to losing weight, shortcuts can set us back or even harm us.
When we feel like things are lagging in progress, I always recommend taking a moment to look back at what we’ve accomplished so far. People tend to focus on what’s over the next hill and forget to enjoy the view along the path.
While we want to succeed at that ultimate goal, we should be happy with every bit of accomplishment along the way. Sure, we may need to perform 60 crunches a day, but breaking them down into three sets of 20 makes them manageable and gives us multiple wins.
If you still can’t wait and think it’s okay to take shortcuts in life, remember that life is a journey with a dead end. Are you sure you want to get to that end in a jiffy? Perhaps taking a little time and reveling in each moment isn’t such a bad thing after all. As for my puffball, I will patiently wait for it to mature and pop and enjoy comparing its size to sports equipment as it does.