and sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood...
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence.
Two roads diverged in a wood and I
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference." Robert Frost (1874-1903)
A very famous poem that is often sited and referenced especially in business and entrepreneurship but the truth is that it is not that simple. The decision to take the "road less traveled" isn't a one time decision. It is a decision that occurs repeatedly. My personal experience has shown that the more times you take "the road less traveled" the more difficult and lonely the travel becomes. The vast majority of people simply can't comprehend taking a path of uncertainty, unknown difficulty and loneliness over the well trodden path of the masses. The path of uncertainty takes tremendous courage and grit, not to mention the intellectual ability to solve unforeseen problems with creativity and possibly limited resources. The critics will be plentiful, mocking and jeering for they only know what they perceive as reality. They don't understand that the "reality" they preach is simply an illusion of their own creation. Possibility and opportunity lay in the realm of the unknown and unexplored.
Taking "The road less traveled" is extremely taxing, mentally, emotionally and even physically and thus the need for tremendous energy, determination and grit. Once again I find myself at the choice of two roads. One is security and relying on what has already been built. To become a settler and enjoy the fruits of past labor. An enticing chance to sit back and relax. A chance for a 'well deserved' rest. The other is to explore the new possibilities and to push the limits of my intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical abilities. What Frost failed to mention in his poem is the chorus of family, friends, and advisors who for various reasons champion the well traveled path. Having just emerged from the last "road less traveled" complete with ample amounts of criticism, rejection, mockery and judgmental opinion maybe it is time to fall in line with the expectation of the banks, pundits, advisors and champions of the road well traveled.
And yet there is one lingering question in my mind...
On the day of my judgment when I stand before God and he asks me "What did you do with what I gave you?" Will I tell him that I went part of the way? That I accomplished quite a bit but then gave in to 'conventional wisdom' and took the well traveled road? That it became to difficult to continue? That I was tired of fighting against others who demanded security above everything else? That I was tired of being the only one on the path? Only to hear his reply..."you didn't believe that I was always with you?" No, I'd much rather hear "Well done my good and faithful servant." The Road less traveled it is!"
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