If there are shortcuts available to us, that is because someone else has done the work.
Consider a literal shortcut, perhaps through a forest. The first person to travel that way has a lot of work to do clearing the path. For that trailblazer, the route isn’t a shortcut – it takes more time and effort than following the existing trail would do.
But that first mover isn’t looking for the easy path. They want to create something new, and are prepared to put the work in. Chances are, they won’t get it right first time – they will probably take a few wrong turns along the way. But in the end, a new ‘shortcut’ is forged, and as more people use the path, it gradually becomes easier to follow.
It’s OK to use shortcuts – they often make sense. But when we do, we should remember that someone else has done the work. We aren’t creating anything new.
There are no shortcuts to originality.