The Path of Most Resistance

Have you ever had one of those mornings where absolutely everything seemed to go wrong? One where literally the only thing you can do is burst out laughing and toss your hands up at the universe?

I most definitely have: for example, only this very morning, I woke up at 5am determined to restart my gym routine (mind you, I had tossed and turned the entire night so just rolling out of bed was an act of will in and of itself). After getting ready and walking to the apartment gym, I discovered that it was locked. I trekked to the second gym location (I know, swanky). Again, locked.

Frustrated, I went home, but I was determined not to be defeated. I grabbed my resistance bands and started in on an arm workout, proud of my resourcefulness and drive, and then-

POP.

My resistance band snapped in half (due more to its cheap nature than my muscles, I’m sure). Whilst staring in disbelief, laughing, and shaking my head up to the sky, I grabbed another one from my box and kept going. And I finished that damn workout.

Now, the lesson I learned from this was simple: if you take one difficult step towards your goal, your determination to avoid setbacks will be tenfold.

Notice that I said *difficult* step. For me, this was getting up at 5am. Had I encountered a locked gym in the afternoon, I would have been much more inclined to take it as a sign to use my yoga pants to stretch out in front of the TV rather than try to figure out how I could workout sans equipment. Yet, since I had overcome that first hurdle of an early wakeup call, I was not about to let all that effort go to waste.

Therefore, perhaps, instead of making our goal easier for ourselves, we should create a first step that, if taken, makes it nearly impossible to not complete the task.

For example, I have been wanting to write a book (trilogy, actually). Yet, somehow, I can sit on the couch night after night with my laptop beside me and do everything and anything but actually open up the computer and type even one damn word.

However, if I were to find a coffee shop close by, and set a goal to visit it at least 3 times a week with my laptop, you can bet that I would make some serious progress every single time that I took that first step of just driving to the coffee shop–there’s no way I would cart the computer over there just to scroll Instagram or text my friends!

Bursting through an obstacle gives you much more incentive to keep going than simply meandering around. And the rewards are endless. Drifters never see anything that the masses haven’t seen. The trekkers, however, the ones who deliberately choose the steepest path and the densest jungle, they are the ones who see the tops of the mountains, depths of the caves, and beauties of the hidden waterfalls.

I will be forcing myself to test this theory with my writing (and yes, even thinking about it seems daunting). What is something you’ve wanted make happen but just can’t seem to find the drive and motivation to do it, not matter how many times you put it on your to-do list? Maybe instead of making it as easy as possible for yourself, you should try creating a first step that will be quite difficult for you to mentally achieve. If you do try it out, let me know your experience in the comments!

What have you got to lose?

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