CliffsNotes Never Tell the Whole Story

I may or may not have been guilty of this in high school. I remember being assigned to read Huckleberry Finn one year. It was a book that I had zero interest in reading. I remember wishing there was a way that I could know the important points in the book without actually reading it. Well, a few friends told me about CliffsNotes. It gave you a summary of all the important points while leaving out all of the nonessential details. It was much shorter and at the time, I thought I was beating the system. I thought wrong. What I didn’t know was that the teachers would also read these short summary books. Then, they would create the test based on the information that could not be found if you only read the summary. Let’s just say that wasn’t one of my finest moments in my academic career.

You may not realize it, but you apply this same concept to so many different areas in your life. You want to find the shortcuts. First, I’ll talk about the obvious areas. People get screwed over so many times because they never take the time to read the fine print. Have you ever read the entire document when you were signing to lease an apartment? Did you read all of the paperwork before signing for your car? The person handing you the papers most of the time will just give you a brief summary of what you’re signing. Do you know how easy it is for them to change a number to something you didn’t agree to? I have a better one for you. Did you actually take a few days to read the novel you signed known as a mortgage? I sure didn’t. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t trust the lenders, but you should do this to protect yourself. The summary does not tell you everything. Sometimes the truth is purposely hidden in the fine print. I have heard story after story of people basically getting screwed over in business contracts because they did not read all the paperwork. I’ve heard stories of musical artists who would have unknowingly signed over the rights to their own music if they would have signed without reading. It may seem tedious, but you should definitely make sure that you read before you sign. Now let me apply these same concepts to life.

If you are not careful, you will unknowingly develop this mindset in other areas. You will want the moments of glory without going through the process to get them. Those details that I skipped because I only read the CliffsNotes were what truly determined if I passed the test. The lessons you learn while grinding will be what actually help to make you successful. You have to stop seeking the easy way. Lose the microwave mentality of always wanting things to happen instantly. Allow things to properly bake in the oven so that it will turn out like it’s supposed to. This mentality is very deceptive because you think you’re working hard when you’re actually being lazy. You may want to reread that sentence and give it a few moments to sink in. Stop cheating yourself.

You must use wisdom when it comes to this. There are times in life when getting the summary is more efficient. There will be times when you will need the facts and not the details in the middle. A good summary will give you the facts that will help point you to those details that you should look into more. Be willing to do your own research. Read documents. And if you are going to read a summary, make sure the person who wrote it knows what they are talking about. The more I think on this subject, it just saddens me because it has become so easy to deceive people in this manner. Unfortunately, this happens A LOT in politics. The lack of knowledge will cause you to perish. I just want to encourage you to take the time and do the proper research for the things that truly matter. Don’t be a victim just because you chose not read. Instead, do what others aren’t doing and watch how you start to succeed.

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