Two Roads

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

– Robert Frost

and this:

If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away.

– Henry David Thoreau

I recently spoke with a woman who described her life to me in a steady stream something like this:  I’m in a rut. I’m unhappy. Unfulfilled. Can’t provide for myself. My marriage is failing. I’m depressed.  My life is chaos. I hate my job. I’m afraid to change.

I asked her what she loves to do.  She gave me her work history.  That tells me what she did. That’s not what I asked.

I asked her what she wanted her life to be like.  Big Picture. Dreamy.

Her answer; a steady job with insurance and benefits, more money, great husband, reliable car, nice place to live. (Maybe not in that order)

Her response was like what I usually hear when I ask this question.

Those answers convey this thinking: more money = more things = more stuff you want = more happy.  Or: happy follows money.

I think this is going about it backwards. My experience, and that of many successful, secure, happy people I know, love, or admire, goes like this:

  1. Be who you really are.
  2. Do what you really need to do.
  3. Have what you really want to have.


Ever tried it?

(Robert and Henry were on to something)