The Easy Road Does Exist, But It Is a Scam

Always be on guard when someone offers to make something easy for you. Run like hell. They are stealing away an opportunity for growth.

Of course, they aren’t promising you something that isn’t real. The easy road does exist. Most everyone takes it.

Learning that’s easy gets you mediocre knowledge. Training that’s easy gets you mediocre gains. A moral code that is easy yields unearned arrogance but not much character. Relationships that are easy yield shallow connection.

Meanwhile the people who have worked hard at these things are laughing at the people who take the easy road. If you go the easy way, you (ironically) make the harder way easier for them. Savvy? There’s less competition at the top if you voluntarily stay at the bottom – which is where “the easy way” will take you.

If you (like me) would like to break the habit of taking the easy road, it helps to remember this. There’s something about feeling like a mark that puts a chip on your shoulder – and there’s no motivation like a shoulder-chip.

Most people in a position to make things easy for you are people who either 1) had things made easy for them or 2) have done things the hard way and don’t care if you join them in the halls of glory. The first kind has not enough wisdom to make things easy for you (their way will make things harder), and the second kind will remain your superiors so long as you accept their offer.


It’s safe to assume that anything worth having takes work (this is the cliche) – and more work than you’ve planned on doing (this is the insight). Growing up in America we are given so many dreams at a young age that we assume they are all possible, and so we assume they are all easier than they really are.

This blog post is likely futile. You must take the easy road and come to the end of it (or see someone else do the same) a number of times before you realize. But a bit more suspicion of the people inviting you to take it might be in order. They are probably not consciously malicious, but their invitation will cheat you out of something you ought to work toward.

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James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, intellectual explorer, and perpetual apprentice. He opted out of college to join the Praxis startup apprenticeship program and currently manages marketing and communications at bitcoin payment technology company BitPay. He writes daily at

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