Everyday there are a hundred new articles about the traits of someone else. 8 Traits of Highly Successful People, 16 Traits of Real Leaders, 94 Traits of Resilient SOBs, you get the point. Everyday we are reading articles that tell us how someone else is doing something, pointing us in the direction of following in those deep impressioned footsteps.
Its easy, right? Someone else has already done it. Why fix something that isn’t broken?
Because maybe it is. Here’s the thing, if we are always doing what those who have gone before us have done, we might never discover parts of ourselves that are better. Yeah, the path that has been cleared, the branches hacked away, the snow tramped down, the grass turned to dust because so many feet have gone before is by far the easier path to follow, but what are you going to see there that hasn’t already been seen?
Its good to understand the paths of those before us. We can learn from them, we can even take pieces of what they have done to support our route, but go your own way. Create your own wake, conceive your own ripples, map your own route. Stop following in the tracks of those who have gone before you.
If you spend too much time in the tracks of someone else, you will discover the parts of them you don’t like, and soon realize those parts are part of you now too. If you follow your own tracks you become accountable only to you, and that is freeing.
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.”