October 13 – Making new ruts on the right path

October 13. “The longer we follow the right path the easier it becomes.” (Anonymous)

The path of least resistance is very often the path of ruin. Sometimes that means taking the easy way out of a difficult situation, and other times it means going with the flow of one’s life without too much disruption. In both cases it flies in the face of the idea of living an intentional life. Following the “right” path is difficult to begin. Unlike the land of Oz, the best path is not clearly marked with yellow bricks. In order to find, start on, and stay on the right path I have to be willing to search out that path, and be diligent.

I try to live my life intentionally. By that I mean that I try to follow what is the best path for myself, and avoid falling into the ruts of routine. I am not always successful, and it is an ongoing, lifelong battle. But I know that it is well worth the reward.

In 1999, when I wanted to break out of the slump I was in at work, and in the relationships of my life, I made the decision to live a more intentional life. While taking the Dale Carnegie class, I learned about the 30 principles for human relations, and I worked to incorporate them into my daily life. In the 15 years since, I have had good days and bad when it comes to living by those principles. Heck, I have had good months and bad. But through it all I know that when I want to make a difference in my life, when I want my relationships and my work to soar, that I have a framework on which to fall back. The key was then, and is now, to spot where I need to get out of the rut, and then to do the work to bring the wheels back up on level ground.

The beginning of following the right path is hard, that’s true. But it is also true that it becomes easier over time. When I started watching my weight on my journey to better health, it was difficult. It was hard to remember to record my food, it was difficult to pass on meal choices that looked positively delectable, but were contrary to my plans. It was hard to get up the courage, and the energy to go to the gym. It was hard to peddle the bike, or move on the treadmill. All of it was difficult. It would have been far easier to stay on the couch with my trusty bag of snacks.

Each day that I stuck to the plan, it became a little easier. Some things started to come to me more naturally, soon eating well and making trips to the gym became the new routine. I am not here to say that this journey is easy, because it is not. It’s a lifelong commitment. What I am here to say is that it has become easier, and that the reward is worth the effort.

Today my reflection is on those areas of my life where I am allowing the wheels to grind through the ruts. Where am I allowing momentum to take me down the path of least resistance?

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