The long payoff.

In the beginning, “doing things the right way” is the only way.

In the middle, the slog of putting one foot in front of the other, day after day, feels like a waste of time.  This is the point that short cuts become tempting and people’s determination peters out.

In the end, plodding along in the right direction for years usually pays off big time.

Hint:  This applies to practically everything.

Another hint:  You’ve reached “the big payoff” when you hear yourself saying, “I have no idea how I got this lucky.”