The path of least resistance. This phrase continues to pop up for me: in articles I read about career paths, during a conversation about writing, in a news snippet on the radio. What does it mean?
The dictionary of idioms tells me that it is the “easiest course to follow.”
If I Google “the path of least resistance” the first page of results leaves me thinking that taking this course of action is the road to ruin. Headlines warn me against taking the path of least resistance lest I choose to be average. Science research notes that we’re wired to take this route. It’s been deemed a creativity killer; this path doesn’t let us do anything bold or new. It gets associated with the words lazy, low-hanging fruit, rationalization, denial, and distraction.
But what if we were to reframe it?
I take “the path of least resistance” to mean that which allows my energy to be most expansive.
If you’ve read me long enough, you know I have no problems changing up my routine and trying new things. As uncomfortable as it may make me at first (and my loved ones hear me worry about it…loudly), I get hooked on the feeling of learning a new skill. My brain is wired to learn, to absorb new information, to lift up the rocks to see what’s underneath, and to share its interpretations with others.
If a particular activity or role no longer gives me space to feel expansive and I’ve done my best to work through any fear or anxiety on my side, I stop doing it. This takes a certain amount of self-awareness that comes with having worked at it for DECADES. I trust that the next opportunity will come along in short order. I’ll feel more receptive to what it has to offer because I’m not banging my head against something else.
My work and my life are tightly intertwined. I will continue to follow the path of least resistance to bring the brightest light to both that I can.
What does the path of least resistance mean to you? Let me know in the comments.
Cover image credit: Binary Koala