The path of least resistance is the safest, most comfortable and easiest path we can take – which is exactly why it should be avoided. I’ll get to that, but first I want to tell you what inspired this article.
This past weekend I took a little road trip with a good friend to meet up with some college buddies for a birthday celebration. While my friend was driving he complained about the other drivers on the road who were going too slow. He explained how he liked to find the path of least resistance as he weaved in and out of traffic. Needless to say, we made good time on that trip. It got me thinking though.
Growing up we are always taught to follow the path of least resistance in life. We are told to play it safe and do what everyone else is doing. The path of least resistance may be great to follow when you’re driving, because you’ll get to your destination quicker. However, when it comes to our careers, relationships and overall life experience – it is the quickest path to mediocrity.
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
3 Characteristics of The Path of Least Resistance
- Herd mentality
- No life experience
- The safe path never goes anywhere
The path of least resistance exists for one primary reason, to line the sheep for slaughter. Following the herd is the quickest route to mediocrity.
Just think of the average person. What does their life look like? Do they feel fulfilled and have a passion for life? Are they in control of their time? Do they have a healthy and active life?
Or are they bored and complacent – stuck working a job they hate, going home to a spouse they settled for and struggling to pay for things they think they have to have but can’t afford?
The average person takes the safe path, because that’s what the average advice suggests. Then they get the average outcome. Just take a look around. The average outcome sucks!
I don’t know about you, but there’s absolutely nothing tempting about that to me.
When I was younger I thought adults had everything figured out. Then I graduated from college and got into the real world and found out that most of them are just as lost as we are as kids.
It’s shocking to me how lazy and dumb the average person is. As mean as that sounds, it’s true. And these are the people giving us advice, are you kidding?
You should always second-guess the advice of the majority because, in general, the majority is usually wrong.
The majority of people aren’t living their dreams. The majority of people aren’t in great relationships. The majority of Americans (75%) are living paycheck to paycheck. What advice could these people possibly offer you?
Successful people stand out from the herd. Successful people don’t follow the path of least resistance, they welcome challenge and adversity.
No Life Experience
What’s the number one problem that college grads face when looking for a job? They lack the required experience. They ask “how can I get experience if no one will give it to me?”
You can’t. Not that way, at least.
The path of least resistance offers no life experience. Taking the safe job doesn’t require you to overcome any kind of challenge and grow.
On the other hand, starting a business (even if you fail) will require you to overcome many challenges and grow tremendously.
You don’t have to start a business. Maybe you dream of doing a profession that doesn’t make much money. The challenge of finding a way to earn a good amount of money doing what you love will force you to solve problems and become smarter and more creative.
People who take the path of least resistance will get to their destination quicker, but then they will be stuck there. Those with more life experience go much further in life.
Life experience makes you stronger, smarter and more creative – all vital skills for success!
If there’s one thing that fitness has taught me about life, it’s that you must experience pain to keep progressing. The challenges and obstacles in the way are just there to see how bad you want it and to prepare you for what’s to come.
If you welcome the challenges others avoid, you will enjoy the rewards they will never see.
The Safe Path Never Goes Anywhere
If you’re scared to leave the safe path just remember it isn’t going anywhere – just like the people who are following it!
It will always be there as a backup plan or safety net.
If you were watching a movie and the main character was debating on following their dreams or settling for the backup plan, which would you rather watch them follow? Of course you’d want to watch them chase their dreams. No one wants to watch a movie about an average person living an average life.
So why would an average life be your Plan A? Maybe because in real life you have to face those challenges yourself instead of watching someone else do it in a movie? Maybe because you are scared or don’t believe in yourself?
The truth is, everyone has fear. Those who say they don’t are just too insecure to admit it – they have a fear of what you think of them.
It’s okay to be afraid, but it’s not okay to let that stop you.
Take a chance on yourself. Start really living life, instead of being a spectator.
The likelihood of leaving the path of least resistance will only get smaller as you get older. The safe path will always be there. Just look at all of the old people you know who are still on it.
Start questioning the advice everyone gives you, including me. Think about the path you truly want to follow. Will it be more difficult? Hopefully so. The more you seek challenge the greater your results will be.
If you choose to follow the herd, don’t be surprised when you end up with the same outcome as the rest of them. The path of least resistance is a path that encourages weakness and leads to mediocrity. No one else can live your life for you, therefore you shouldn’t be trying to get anyone else’s life experience – find your own.
The safe path isn’t going anywhere. If you decide to give up on your own path, you can always go back to being average. However, being average should never be your goal.
Until Next Time,
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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