One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” If you’ve never had the opportunity to read it, I would highly encourage you to take five minutes to do so. It’s the story of a traveler heading down the path of life, and finding a fork in the road where he is forced to make a choice. One path looks well worn, pleasant, easy and seems like the logical choice or the path of least resistance.
The other path looks daunting, uncertain, and far more difficult. The poem ends with one of the more famous lines in American literature, “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
I guess I love this poem because I’ve always envisioned myself as that weary traveler heading down the road of life and have found myself at that proverbial fork in the road. My path has been extremely unconventional, yet I’ve always believed that I’ve chosen the right path when it lays before me.
But the other day I had a revelation regarding the fork in the road and the choices we make . . . It never ends. One choice leads to another choice and so on and so forth.
I’ve always held onto this idea that once the big decision is made, then it’s over and you get to deal with the result of that one big choice, good or bad. What I’ve come to realize over the years is that life is a never-ending divergence of paths, and everyday we are all presented with multiple choices on which way to turn, and what road to take.
When to get up, what to eat, whom we kiss goodbye, should we exercise, do I eat the fudge brownie, did I let someone know how much I care about them, how we spend our time, what challenges we focus our energy on, what emails to respond to, which ones to let linger, whom we share our lives with and how much we give of ourselves.
With all of these choices, how do we know we are making the right ones? How are we to know if we are making the decisions that create real and meaningful differences in our own lives, or if we are just taking the easy way out?
Taking the road less traveled is a consistent choice you can make, based on your core values, what you believe is right, being true and authentic to yourself and having purpose and intention behind those choices.
It’s not always easy, living on purpose and by design, and that’s why it’s so easy to slip over to the path of least resistance, the road to unfulfilled potential and mediocrity.
How many times have you made a decision only to wish you made another? Every choice you make, even the seemingly insignificant one, is either moving you closer to your goals, or pushing you further from them. What choices have you made today? What Quarter Turns have you applied as a result?
The road to the life you have always imagined yourself in, can be filled with thorns, cuts, scrapes and bruises. It may appear to be a dark and frightening path upon the first glance. It’s filled with blind spots, steep hills and sharp corners and you can’t possibly predict what’s in store. It certainly does not include a road map or sign posts to give you an idea of where you are going. But trust me when I tell you, the road less traveled is usually the best path, and it has most definitely made all the difference for me.
What decisions will you find before you in the near future?
How have you made those choices in the past?
What criteria will you use to help make your new choices?
What will be the impact of making that choice?
Remember, easy doesn’t always equal better.
Thoughts for the week:
No matter how far you’ve gone down the wrong road, you can always turn around. – Unknown
We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes- understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success. -Arianna Huffington
Our life is the sum total of all the decisions we make every day, and those decisions are determined by our priorities. -Myles Munroe
Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever. -Keri Russell
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. – Nelson Mandela
Everything in your life is a result of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make a different choice. – Unknown
Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places. – Unknown
When you come to a fork in the road, take it. –Yogi Berra
Looking forward to our next conversation.