The Path of Least Resistance
The path of least resistance is one that all of us are on at some point in our day, in our week, our year, our life. It looks like a leaf, fallen from a tree, floating down the middle of the creek. It has no say over its direction and no idea where it will eventually stop. It will likely end up soaked, and drowned at the bottom of the creek or dried up and shriveled on a rock that it happened to catch on to. Doesn’t sound so appealing.
This path is one that we naturally gravitate towards. We do this because it is easy, accessible, comfortable, and there are a lot of people there to share it with. And as mentioned, at some point in our day or life, we all spend some time there. The people there may comfort you, reassure you, and enable you to stay there. The thing is, just like a leaf in the river, there isn’t much choice, differentiation, or challenge on that path.
In real life this path can take on many faces:
It is easier to eat unhealthily than healthily.
It takes less effort to watch a show than to read a book.
It’s simpler to sleep in or head straight home after work than it is to prioritize a workout.
It is more comforting to speak about ourselves than it is to ask questions and listen.
It is more convenient to stare at our phone than it is to engage in real life activities.
It is less risky to continue our current job in our current field making our current income than it is to step away from that all, learn something new, and pursue what we always dreamed of.
It is more relaxing to give our kid a phone than it is to deal with their youthful misbehavior.
It is less challenging to hang out with people who allow you to stay the same than to be around those who challenge you to change.
These are only a handful of examples of what is easy and what isn’t. I myself have struggled with every single one of these ideas at some point in my life and still do. The path of least resistance always presents itself and often we end up on it unknowingly. Many times feeling as if we wasted a ton of time. Time wasted is time lost.
It seems like everything happening in the world, every technological advance, conforms us to all be the same. The world is operating on platforms making us feel forced to conform. We’re slowly being shoved into a corner without fully realizing it. Maybe we don’t have a choice in some realms but in many we do. My hope is that we recognize the ones where we do have a choice and then make the choice that we want to make not the one being made for us. Not the easy choice. Not the path of least resistance.
I encourage you to be bold in who you are and what you want to achieve. If you find yourself on the path of least resistance ask yourself why you are there. It’s ok to be there, temporarily. We need to recover sometimes. But staying there forever is a recipe for lost time. As soon as you can stand it again, start swimming upstream. Do the hard things that few else want to do. Do what makes your heart beat faster. Show the world your full potential.