A few months ago, an amazing and enlightened woman named Mellissa shared with me a story that I think of often. Her thirteen-year-old son approached her with the idea of dropping out of high school to start his own film company. He thought that by focusing all of his time and energy on the business, he could do far more and retire by the age of 30. Not necessarily overjoyed by the idea but in full support of her son, Mellissa decided to support the idea if that’s what he wanted to do. Her son decided to think on it. A few days later, he announced his plan to continue on with high school, exploring the film business on the side, and leaving the option to revist the idea of dropping out if a big opportunity were to emerge.
Mellissa taught me about the path of least resistance. Instead of fighting the less than ideal proposal (in her eyes), she trusted her son would come to an answer that’s right for him on his own. Mellissa reminded me to let go of the need to control how situations unfold so that what’s meant to emerge does so naturally.
Over the past few months, this pattern has appeared in my life time and time again.
In April, I started dating a wonderful guy. Things got intense rather quickly and despite living in different cities, we found ways to spend weeks at a time with each other. The connection was deep and the love was true but something wasn’t working. He felt like he had big life questions he needed to answer. He wanted to go on a solo journey to experience these answers. Although this hurt because I felt and saw so much potential, I remembered the path of least resistance. In full support of his journey and process, I encouraged him to go.
A few days ago, one of my Bold teammates called me to tell me that it’s time for him to focus 100% on making his dream a reality. He said that Bold was the catalyst for him to realize where he’s meant to be focusing his time and energy. Despite envisioning him playing a longer-term role in Bold, I couldn’t help but smile so hard and feel so proud that he knew it was his time. I trust that this will be best for us both in the end.
When I went climbing in Eldorado canyon on Tuesday, this same theme popped up again. With hands trembling and arms shaking as I was mid-way up the mountain and unsure of where to put my left foot, I yelled up to my buddy Will, “I’m scared!” He reassured me, “It’s okay… You got this… Just take the path of least resistance.” I took a few steps back, altered my path, and began making my way up the mountain.
When faced with circumstances that seem less than ideal, I’m reminded of what Joseph Campbell said: We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
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