My wife and I are in the process of arranging how we are going to move forwards with our daughter in terms of daycare. It is not a easy process – because the system is designed to facilitate a type of daycare that neither of us are satisfied with. And to do something different – a lot of effort is required. This is what I would like to explore in this blog – how the system as it currently functions has certain known paths that are a lot easier to move upon – and that there are alternative paths but that these are more difficult. And a weakness I have noticed in myself is that I will rather pick the easy path instead of picking the path I want – because the easier path is predictable and safe – while the difficult path requires effort, courage, determination and steadfastness.
I have several reasons why I tend to pick the easier path. One is that it makes me feel comfortable – I think that if everyone else does it – then it must be okay – because everyone else cannot be wrong, right? Though deep down I do understand that the mass is many, many times completely out of touch with reality. This is for example what happens in the creation of financial bubbles. A lot of people come together and form a belief that some form of asset is really valuable and that it will continue to raise in value infinitely. And then the price of this asset is pushed up until people start to question the value of the asset, or some other event occurs, that suddenly implodes the belief that the asset is infinitely going to raise in value. Then it drops, fast, and many lose their money in the process.
Thus far in my life I have made a couple of decision where I went against the grain and it has been difficult each time – primarily because I doubted myself. An interesting point however is that I am now very satisfied with these decisions and how they have played out. Because when I went against the grain I made sure that I did the research and that I knew what I was doing. That was something I needed to do as I could not rely on this feeling of safety that I am able to derive from seeing many others doing the same thing. Obviously that feeling of safety is irrational and deceptively reassuring. The only way of achieving real certainty with a decision is by doing my own independent research.
It is also not possible to trust the decisions that others make because many times they themselves do not know what they are doing. Outwardly they can present a cool, collected and rational facade – however internally – they can be driven by a variety of desires, fears, anxieties and or the deceptive feeling of safety that following the herd can create. Very few people make extensive research before committing. An example of this would be the current tendency to move to bigger cities and leave the smaller countryside cities. Many do this in the belief that it is going to provide them with a better quality of life. However – the facts in my country of origin indicate the opposite – which is way I decided to position myself in a smaller city. I doubted that decision a lot – though in retrospect I am able to see that my estimations were correct.
If we go back to the reasons as to why I tend to pick the easier path. A second of these is that it does not require much effort. When I go with the flow, there is already a system in place, I do not have do any creative work, as everything is already developed and streamlined – all I have to do is step into the stream and it will take me where I wish to go. Hence – I can sit back, relax, and not have to worry – and rest in the false belief that everything is taken care of. That is not how it works when I decide to go against the flow. Then I have to work to find solutions, I have to put in effort and move through physical and mental barriers to reach my goal. And many times I cannot be sure on the outcome. Even though I put in the hours – it does automatically imply that I will succeed. And that is also something that I fear. I do not want failure, mistakes and falling in my life – though that is what I am at risk of experiencing when I decide to travel upon the path least chosen. I will not be certain until I reach my destination – whereas when I chose the path of least resistance – I can rest in the comfortable feeling that everything will be all right.
I do understand that my reasons for wanting to pick the easier path are irrational and primarily based on desiring an easy life. Though what if I decide to be satisfied with an easy life and just following the path of least resistance – where is that going to leave me? Is it ever possible to be genuinely satisfied if I just do what comes naturally and easy for me? Will I ever feel as if I have created something if I go into an already established structure? I will have to say that I need challenges to grow and that there is no reason for me not to try to create the life I really want instead of settling for a mediocre existence that feels safe. The notion of safety is very deceptive as well – because even though I might feel safe, comfortable and secure with my decisions – everything can change in an instance. My house can burn down, war can erupt, nature catastrophes can strike – hence we are never really safe and secure – there is always a risk.
Thus – the path less walked will be my route of choice – challenging myself, doing new things, and venturing into new directions, that is what makes life exciting. And failures will be a part of a new direction – that is inevitable. And thus – we should never view failures as something negative and bad – it is simply part of the learning process, part of the expansion, and it shows where we are not yet mastering our new direction.
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