A pathway is something we can walk along or a route which we can take. This is the physical description of a pathway as we understand it, most of the time though, it’s thought of in a metaphysical sense. It’s a particular course of action on the way to achieving something. Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ( Ralph Waldo Emerson) I never know if the path I’m walking on is the “right” one and I often find myself at a crossroads of indecision. At times, I want to retrace my steps to the “safe” well trodden path. Fearing the new path may ultimately lead me somewhere I don’t want to go.
But the path I least want to travel, is the well trodden one, because I’ve walked that path a hundred times before. I know each twist and turn, every pothole and obstacle that may trip me. There are no surprises on this path, it’s boring and predictable. The more I get to know myself, the more I realize, boring and predictable are two things I never want to be. And here’s the other thing, how can I know if the path I’m taking, is somewhere I want to go, when I can’t be sure of what’s at the end, until I get there.
In life of course, there are only ever two options on the pathway, the known and the unknown. If we take the known path, we have to accept that we may never feel the thrill of the extraordinary, or the adrenaline rush we get when we take a risk and it pays off. Equally, we may never feel the crushing disappointment of a failed risk. If we take the unknown path, we must accept that risks are part of life. They may not always pay off, but at least we will never look back and wonder, what if ?
As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth. So a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. ( Henry David Thoreau)
Walking on a known pathway is existentially soothing. The best way to understand this, is to go off the path every once in awhile. Go on a hike for two or three days where you won’t walk on a pathway, but walk in a more chaotic landscape. Going off this path can be fearful, because we don’t have the self-assurance we’re used to, which metaphorically mirrors our own often, chaotic mental landscape. But we need to break away from the weeds of life, and look for the roses on another pathway.
Pathway less traveled.
Have the courage to take risks. Go where there are no guarantees. Get out of your comfort zone even if it means being uncomfortable. The road less traveled is sometimes fraught with barricades bumps and uncharted terrain. But it is on that road where your character is truly tested And have the courage to accept that you’re not perfect nothing is and no one is and that’s OK. (Katie Couric)
The pathway less traveled, is invariably a difficult choice, because it usually involves giving more of ourselves into the world. Also it can be a challenging pathway. But it’s full of rewards that can provide happiness and fulfillment. There are many decisions to be made in life, from all of them we can learn to develop a strong character. We are constantly being asked to choose between the pathways. If we can say in our heart, we have a tough decision to make, we can almost guarantee, we’re being asked to choose which path to take.
For me the most important aspect of personal development, is realizing the value in being on the pathway less traveled. Being open to the exciting experiences traveling this pathway might provide and finding out who I am in the process. Of course things won’t always work for me, I will invariably have failures, but if I’m happy and fulfilled how do I define success? I’ve always sort of felt a little bit like I was on the road less traveled. So if I come across a story about a person who broke the rules, or did things differently and succeeded, that’s really inspiring to me (Laura Bell Bundy)…….It’s also inspiring to this grey hiker as well.