The Best Short Cut is the Long Way
'I got tenure a year earlier than people usually do. That seemed to impress other junior faculty members. 'Wow, you got tenure early,' they'd say to me. 'What was your secret?' I said, 'It's pretty simple--call me any Friday night in my office at 10 o'clock and I'll tell you (this was before I had a family). A lot of people want a short cut. I find the best short cut is the long way, which is basically two words: work hard. As I see it, if you work more hours than somebody else, during those hours you learn more about your craft. That can make you more efficient, more able, even happier. Hard work is like compound interest in the bank. The rewards build faster.'
--From The Last Lecture, by the late Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch. If you haven't yet watched the actual lecture, you can watch it here.