Companies love selling shortcuts because people love buying shortcuts, no matter how illusory.

Five minutes to a flatter stomach. Take a pill, lose twenty pounds. Buy a kit, make $50,000 a month in real estate.

Timothy Ferris wrote a whole book about bypassing work, The 4-Hour Workweek. The gist: outsource your workweek down to a little nub so you can maximize playtime.

All of these baits appeal to a very basic human impulse: “I want their reward, their dessert.” It’s an insatiable sweet tooth that grows longer every day in the decadently consumer-centric First World.

I think life is too short not to enjoy as much of it as reasonably possible. But people who focus only on dessert implicitly make the assumption that fun can’t be found in work.

So they work very hard at avoiding work. And they buy gimmicks sold by smart people who, ironically, worked very hard to achieve their ostensibly cherry-topped lifestyle.

But just imagine for a moment that there exists some path of work that doesn’t suck. Imagine that it is possible to enjoy making things, not just consuming things.

If you could only figure out how to sweeten work with play, you’d find enjoyment in the pursuit itself, not in coveting the thing you pursue.

Most of life happens between desserts anyway. Not during.