I have always liked taking the easy route. And don’t we all do? If there is a way to do something in 5 mins, why choose a way that requires 10? If you can send an email, why write a letter?
People always try to make it easy for themselves. They try to get the best education, the best jobs, build their house as early as they can, create a sufficient and safe bank balance. They do this all so that they can have an easy life.
But still a lot of them end up bored, listless and confused. Why is this so? Is safe and easy not good for us? Is it that we require difficulty in our lives to enjoy it?
I think not. We should seek ease. But, I think a better question to ask ourselves is – Is my path really easy?
The easy path
When people cling on to ‘safe jobs’ and a ‘secure life’, I think they are victims of near-sightedness, they can’t see very far. This path is only easy in the beginning. With time, it gets more and more difficult. There is no heart in this path, there is no fun, there is no sense of meaning in following this path.
A person gets up every day, and gets ready to do a job he doesn’t like. He goes to office and spends most of his waking hours there. He does this day in and day out(barring weekends and holidays), for years on end.
While it may have been a worthy goal when there was too much insecurity, once you are relatively safe and secure, this path looses it’s value.
Boredom, lack of self worth, lack of confidence and purposelessness crop up in your life. With passing years, they grow bigger. You might try to ignore them but it only gets worse. You grow irritable, proud, you create and defend false ideas to explain your actions. Towards the end of your life, you can only think of what could have been, had you given your real dreams a chance.
How can this be the easy path!?
The difficult path
I often encourage people to follow their hearts. To do what excites them and gives them a sense of purpose and meaning.
This path seems inimidating. Your heart usually encourages you to acknowledge your own unique identity, it encourages you to follow a path that you really connects with, that you find meaning and purpose in.
It is usually not the path that everyone advices. The heart is usually at loggerheads with the crowd. It pulls you away, it wants to drown out the noise, so that you can focus on listening to your own voice. This path is initimidating because we are used to staying in the ‘safety’ of the crowd. We start out by looking up to our parents, then our teachers and seniors. To close your eyes and look within for guidance, may seem like letting go of the raft that keeps you afloat.
But this is a leap you have to take, right in the beginning of this path. The good part is, once you take this leap, it only gets easier from there. You realize you had been creating imaginary monsters all along, you realize you don’t need that raft, you are already standing near the shore.
Yes, there are a lot of obstacles in the beginning. Sometimes you get frustrated. But, like in a game, the hurdles are the very things that make the whole effort exciting and fun. You move towards a win you really want and care about, and you enjoy the whole journey too. How cool is that!
These inital obstacles are one of your greatest friends. They make you stronger, they make you learn and grow. Once you are past them, there is no stopping you, and there is no stopping the fun. You just keep touching new heights and the adventure gets better and better.
There is no escaping difficulty, not even in the path of ease. Either you meet it early on, in a pursuit that is meaningful to you. Or you keep avoiding it, only to meet it later in life. Only, when you meet it later, you will have neither time, nor the attitude to learn from it and go past it.
So my friend, which of the above two paths are you choosing for yourself?