Choosing the Path of Least Resistance
We are often taught in life that if we want something then we have to go after it. “Persistence is the way,” we hear, as we march off into the world trying to find our opportunities to succeed. But is persistence the only factor in achieving success? Well, if you’re someone who has tried for years and years to get a project off the ground or to “make” something happen in your life to no avail, hearing that persistence is the key might strike a nerve or two within you. After all, you probably consider yourself as persistent as they come, right? So, there has to be more to it than just putting your nose to the grindstone.
Here’s the thing, too often persistence is confused with desperation. What that means is, we might think that we are being persistent when, really, we are just way too attached to a specific outcome. And any time that we feel desperate or needy in this way, we actually end up pushing our desire farther away. Yes, persistence can prevail (even through desperation), but that type of success never truly leads to happiness in the end. So what’s the alternative?
Choose the path of least resistance.
What is resistance anyway? Well, many times it can feel like fear, doubt, uncertainty, insecurity, impatience, anger, resentment, frustration, discouragement, and so on. It’s anything that feels like a knot in your stomach or a reluctance to take action, even if you think you “should.” One might think in this case that choosing the path of least resistance would be to actually succumb to our fears and avoid the very thing that makes us feel apprehensive. But the opposite may actually be true.
You see, the path of least resistance does not mean avoiding that which we fear because that is what seems easiest. Instead, it’s realizing that our fear is the resistance. The path of least resistance does not always mean choosing the easier path (of the ego). Instead, it’s realizing what we actually desire, and then choosing the path where we are no longer afraid to manifest it.
Think of it this way. If you want something but you fear going for it, choosing the path of least resistance on the surface might look like choosing fear and letting go of your dream. After all, fear feels like resistance, right? But, in reality, the path of least resistance is the one where you face that fear and do it anyway because your desire is way stronger. Allowing your fear to stop you from doing what you want is actually allowing resistance to persist.
Now, if you are feeling fearful about taking an action because you don’t actually want to do it, then not wanting to do it is the resistance. So, the path of least resistance in this case would be to either not do it or, if you need to do it, change your perspective of it, or simply do it in another way.
In the former scenario the resistance is the fear, which you can push through because your desire is way stronger. And in the latter scenario the resistance is the inauthentic act, which you can give yourself permission to reject or simply change as you see fit. The task for you is to figure out where the resistance is coming from and then to choose the action that feels most aligned with your joy.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to trust; trust in yourself and trust in something bigger. If you feel that you’ve been persisting and you keep running up against wall after wall, consider for a moment why you are pushing so hard. Could it be that you have become attached to a certain outcome? Could it be that your desperation for that outcome has become the resistance to the very thing that you seek? Could it be that you are fixated on a specific result that may not really be what is most ideal for you? When we feel like we’ve been pushing and pushing to no avail, that, in and of itself, is a sign for us to dig a bit deeper as to why. What is motivating your action? What is it that you actually want? Is there a better way that you are not noticing? Are you actually avoiding something that you need to do? And could it be that there is simply a bigger picture and a better alternative of which you are not yet aware? Know that if you are doing something with an agenda in mind, you might end up resisting the very thing that you desire through your attachment to it. But, if you are taking an action for its own sake, and with surrender from the outcome, then you will have released any resistance and allowed your ideal version of results to show up.
So, any time that you feel the urge to persist, try to balance that out with a sense of surrender. That way you can persist, but you can also stay open in case there is a need to shift direction. Consequently, always follow your path of least resistance and it will drive you in the direction that you need to go. And you will ultimately know your best path by the joy that you feel as you take it.