Going off the trail on a hiking path, even if the intent is to take a shortcut in order to take less time or travel less, often ends up taking more time and resulting in more travel. Often, shortcuts are not quicker, easier ways to get somewhere. If the goal is only to arrive somewhere quickly and easily, shortcuts are often a bad idea.

But that’s not always the goal. Hiking paths are almost never used to get somewhere quickly and easily. Actually, most of the time the hiker intends to arrive exactly where they start. In that case if the goal was to get there quickly and easily, there would be no hike.

The real goal of hiking is typically something that can be attained better, despite the risks, by going off the path.

Thinking is similar.

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