Through extensive searching, talking to people (clients), studying, experience, and personal awareness, I have learned life is difficult, painful, and peppered with suffering. And at the same time, we are the antidote to all of life’s pain and suffering, if only we seek the Road Less Traveled.
Many people don’t see themselves as the solution to their difficulties, pain, and suffering. If we entertained the road less traveled, we would see we are all capable of helping direct the world’s spiral upward.
Allow me to illustrate the contrast by highlighting a few common blind spots.
Blame and victimism. If only I hadn’t been so poor…If only I didn’t have such a temper…If only my industry didn’t collapse…If only other people weren’t so difficult…If only my boss wasn’t such a jerk. Blaming others may feel good, but it’s a temporary relief. It adds nothing and only more permanently binds you to problems.
The Road Less Traveled
Choosing the road less traveled means taking responsibility for your life. We often view responsibility as unfavorable, a limitation that holds us back.
But it is the primary way we solve life’s problems and at the same time, derive meaning and purpose. If we devote our lives to taking responsibility for the challenges we face, it will give us meaning with a capital “M.”
Cynicism. At first, people adjust to everyday conflict, disappointments, and the frustrations that take the wind out of our sails. They don’t notice they are becoming conditioned in the wrong direction. They begin to think anxiety is acceptable, just part of life.
Cynicism as a sign of surrender, you’ve given up. Cynics will try to pull you to their side, making you believe they are rebels, but in reality, they have ceded power to passivity and inaction. They believe the ability to create change is not in them; it’s with someone else. Cynicism is a form of coping (sweeping problems under the rug) while avoiding taking responsibility. It’s a defense used to hide self-doubt. Cynics are waving the white flag of surrender.
Taking the road less traveled is about fighting to avoid being pulled down by communal cynicism. Knowing that cynicism is for followers, you seize the territory of your thoughts, no matter what others say, you actively invest in yourself. You don’t rely on words. You push toward achievement with grit, crust, and perseverance and beat the odds.
Personal stagnation. Human nature is multidimensional—mind, body, heart, and spirit. But we are often better at climbing the organizational chart than living a life of worthwhileness. Consider the man who became mayor and was indicted for fraud. Or the man who fought hard to get elected as Governor but derailed because of involvement in human trafficking. And there’s the professional athlete convicted of domestic violence.
We work hard to develop professional skills while virtues and character wither.
When you develop the whole self with intention, you choose the road less traveled. You start by writing your obituary. Then day-by-day, you invest a lifetime walking it back.
Are you taking full advantage of your personal experience? Are you using each day and the moments within each day to craft the best strategy for the vision you have?
The road less traveled is crafted by you, the choices you make.