Today I wanted to discuss a subject that is of recent interests to me. It’s something that has been on my radar, but nothing I have given an over amount of attention to, until now. That which I am speaking of is commonly referred to as the path of least resistance. A term that essentially means, exactly what it sounds like – a path of least resistance.
From my understanding the term developed its meaning from nature. Being that the path that nature takes is the one that poses the least resistance. A river will travel down a stream or water way, following the least resistant route. A lighting bolt will come down from the sky following the least resistant path. A current will travel through wiring, again following the least resistant path. And the more you study nature, the more apparent this theme of least resistance will show itself to you.
What does that all mean? Is nature lazy? Well…not exactly.
Essentially what this is alluding to is the fact that their are high energy pathways and low energy pathways. And nature follows the high energy pathways being that it poses the least amount of resistance and poses the most opportunity for growth. Essentially nature maximizes its output by using only the energy required to take the least resistant pathway. This is in many ways can be seen as sustainability, nature uses the least amount of resources and energy to yield the highest results. A tree will always grow in a pattern that will allow for the most absorption of sun, water, and nutrients with the least amount of effort and stress.
It’s a phenomenon that has been taking place around us forever, almost as a teacher, enlightening us about the path of least resistance.
So sure I get what all this means in nature, that nature yields the highest amount of growth while expelling the least amount of energy. Makes Sense. But what does that teach humanity?
Well for starters its probably a great concept to be mindful of when building cities and allocating resources. Since it would beg you to ask yourself, how could I get the most done, with fewest resources. Moreover, it can raise the question of how can you design a city that is the most convenient for its inhabitants, how can we allow citizens to enjoy the fruits of societies labor, with the least amount of effort. However, my intention is not to talk about urban planning, so before I get derailed, let me bring the focus back to my initial intention.
The Path of least resistance, and what it means to us in our everyday life.
For starters, we can observe that nature is alluding to the fact that its “natural” to follow a path that is least resistant, in fact its the only way nature operates.
So if nature has an apt to make things as easy as possible for itself, why do we not live similarly? Why are many of us so apt to make things more challenging than they ought to be?
If we were to study natures architecture than we would understand how nature constructs such illustrious environments, because it simply travels the road with less conflict.
What if we were to do the same?
What if we sought out friendships that progressed fluidly, and did not take overwhelmingly amounts of energy to sustain?
What if we accepted a job that allowed us to express our highest interests, instead of going through our life hating our job, and constantly facing resistance in the form of uninterests, or unwillingness to do our job. How illustrious can we make our lives if we are facing constant resistance, by not whole heartinly loving our jobs or our relationships with others. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. How many things do you experience on a day to day basis that make you feel resistant. How prosperous can you be if you’re constantly running through blockades?
Lets make a distinguishment real quick before we misinterpret this meaning.
Challenges are not necessarily resistance, often times a flower has to push through the challenge of blooming and openings its pedals, and its that brief struggle that allows it to unveil its beauty. Similar challenges in our life are positive, and are what allow us to realize our full potential and true beauty. Resistance can be seen differently and as something that doesn’t feel good. Perhaps when you have to put someone down to get ahead, or when you constantly feel stifling and unsettling emotions in a relationship or in your place of work. In those circumstances you are expelling a tremendous amount of energy for little to no growth. Whereas in a different situation you may excel in a relationship or on the job with what feels like little to no effort.
The path of least resistance looks and feels different for all of us. But it is this sweet spot in life, where you are following your natural and genuine desires, and moving through life inspired with a sense that everything works out for you. Some may be thinking that they know someone like this, and quite frankly its not fair because everything always work out for them. But the reality is, that this seemingly easy path is possible for all of us if we follow the path of least resistance. Sure it will wax and wane from time to time, but if you follow your heart and don’t try and live your life for others you will channel the same natural and non resistant strength that built the mountains and carved the canyons.
Be like water my friends…and follow the path of least resistance.