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An effective strategy should not be confused with a merely effortful one.
The real thing is going to require some work. The real thing done slowly and patiently is still the real thing. A fake thing stays fake, regardless of the intensity.
Effectiveness is what you do. Effort is how much.
For example, when you study, active recall is most effective. Only looking at the information over and over requires effort, but is not effective. However, once you've chosen an effective method, the level of intensity is up to you.
The hard way is about effectiveness and effort.
Effectiveness is the part to be most careful about. Walking the hard way can often be done slowly and patiently. However, the fake path will go nowhere.
If a pursuit has a deadline or steep costs, going slowly won't do. The choice is not between easy and long versus hard and short. The way forward is often long and hard.
What works will depend on your destination. You may work hard on a path that may end up going nowhere. That's okay. Reduce the risk by talking to people who know the way, read a lot, and try stuff out. You won't fail for long.
Moreover, you may know the path, but ignore it and instead apply half efforts with the hope of reaching the same result. This attitude creates self-deception and will not self-correct.
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