Much has been said about taking “paths” in life.  But after years of observation, it seems that the most satisfied and fulfilled people often create their own paths, and blaze their own trails.  No matter the obstacles…

That’s not to say creating your own path means you have to carve it all out yourself of course.  Many brave souls have shown us different examples of paths to take.  Some were parents and teachers.  Some were heroes in sports, business, spiritual life to name a few examples.  Some have even been role models drawn from fiction and history….

The point is that to be truly successful, perhaps it is key that it becomes your path, rather than theirs.  Otherwise the life lived on that path may only be a half-life.  At times people mention how marginally satisfied they are with their lives.  We see it in news stories, statistical reports and often most directly from friends and colleagues. 

Sure they try to eat healthy, do a bit of exercise, stay positive, and keep going.  Is that enough?  A recent publicly quoted statistic pointed to a study that found 80% of people today are not “happy” with the jobs they have.  Whether that statistic is entirely accurate or not, it isn’t hard to discover that many people do what they do in life because they feel they must, to pay bills, support a family, etc.  And for most people work is a large part of their lives with which to be unhappy.  This can at times even lead to ill health compounding challenges.

Now more than ever, we have business gurus, life coaches, thought leaders, as well as various motivational resources.  Why are so many people so stressed, unhappy and often unhealthy in our communities?  What are we doing collectively or not doing that tends to contribute to so many unfulfilled lives?

Traveling the path through life ought to be the best part of the journey.  Why does it feel like we are slogging through it so much of the time?  Living a “processed” life, like our corn flakes?

More importantly, what can we do about it? Perhaps owning it authentically can help. Here are a few ideas:

1 – Facing the fact that in order to create a better direction; to create development, things must change

There is no growth without change and effort. And that means yes, things must be different in your life. Some risk is inherent.

2 – Unfortunately, most often this means personal development whether in our work lives or in out private lives.  And that means some work (I can hear the groans) –  

Attending workshops, seminars, reading or listening to talks is terrific.  But even the best of these resources is seldom effective without the effort of follow-up, personal engagement.  Sometimes completely new habits must be formed and even new paradigms developed.

3 – Giving birth to Consciousness – Many of us are asleep to our very own selves – just sleep walking around –

Some call this birth of consciousness “mindfulness”, “being awake”, “being present”.  Why is this subjective awareness so important?  Because, if you don’t really see and deeply understand where you are, what you are doing and why you are doing it, how can you change or even fully see the path, much less identify possible obstacles and challenges which may be down the road?

4 – Dropping the whole notion of fear and hesitancy –

Rejection by those who may not understand?  Fear of failure?  What other concerns make us fearful?  Some of our greatest heroes have faced and overcome fear as well as failure to create new and sometimes bolder directions in life, new paths. From scientists, to entrepreneurs, to business moguls, to spiritual leaders and homemakers, many have shown how.  Just reading a biography or two or listening to some motivational speakers on YouTube can demonstrate just how much people can handle, and overcome on their path to personal fulfillment and success.  As Nelson Mandella pointed out in his inaugural address, it is often our greatness we fear more than failure.  Something to perhaps ask ourselves….

What could we create if we engaged a new and different path?  Perhaps it’s not a question of changing the whole direction, sometimes it is about modification.  Sometimes it might be about creating a second income stream with some part time interest.  Perhaps it can be a hobby or volunteer effort that suddenly sheds light on the path and allows for beautiful rays of satisfaction to come in. It could even be a good conversation with someone.

5 – Change, development and difference in life can be fun –

Just cause we discover new and different things about ourselves and consequently the paths we need to travel doesn’t meant that it all has to be hard work.  Work has gotten a bad wrap.  Sometimes the so-called “work” is just new habituation.  And with fear, doubt and confusion out of the way, subjective freedom can help us sore along that path we are blazing! Stay tuned!