Week 15: The path of least resistance
I came across a comic on Instagram a few weeks back that instantly struck a chord with me.
(Read left to right, top to bottom)
However, doing a quick Google search on the path of least resistance, I noticed that most are of the opinion that taking the path of least resistance is inherently “bad”. For example, “The path of least resistance will never make you proud” (Tony Robbins), “The path of least resistance is the path of the loser” (H.G. Wells).
In today’s world, where it seems like every other person you know is achieving something big, doing something great (getting onto LinkedIn feels that way sometimes), it is easy to feel like your efforts don’t matter, or that you should be doing more and challenging yourself further.
A few weeks back, I found myself in a situation where I had to make a choice between an “easier”, more illuminated path, and one that led into a misty, dense forest.
And part of me struggled against the idea of choosing the easy way out. I did not want to be perceived as lazy, or weak, or a loser. I secretly (not so secret anymore) wanted to be seen as that person who went all out into something she didn’t know and (hopefully) succeeded. You know, like that other person on LinkedIn…
I spoke to a few people to get their opinion on what I “should” be doing. But ultimately, a trusted mentor helped me realise —
- Not everything in life has to be a challenge; perhaps you were already taking on something else in life that was challenging enough. Perhaps the bagpack on your back was already heavy enough, and taking the more illuminated path was actually pretty okay.
- Having to choose, in itself, is a privilege; not many get to have options like you do.
Maybe, with all that struggling, I was just waiting for someone to tell me that, sometimes, taking the “easier” path was okay.
And if you, too, were waiting for someone to tell you that it was okay to be “weak”, to be “a loser”, to forgo “success”, here goes —
“…sometimes we shouldn’t feel guilty about making the “easy” choice. Nature has been making such choices for way longer than we’ve existed, on every possible scale, with beautiful outcomes. And that’s quite reassuring.”
And to quote Marvel —
“Just because it’s the path of least resistance, doesn’t mean it’s the wrong path.” — Natasha Romanoff