There is a beautiful and profound poem by Robert Frost called “The Road Not Taken” http://www.bartleby.com/119/1.html).
It’s a wonderful ode on why it is sometimes better (sometimes not) to go the way less traveled but either way to follow your instincts, your heart, and the path of your own soul and that in itself makes all the difference.
The path that you take, to me is less important than engaging whichever path you choose with a full commitment –in business, life, or relationships. Too often, we begin a journey with great hope and expectation but with less than a full-out commitment. Taking a path, beginning a journey, or making a decision with a half-hearted commitment is the truest course to mediocrity at best and stagnation and a direct road to regret at worst.
Think of the most successful people you know of or know in business. Consider your family, your circle of friends, or your mentors or models of great accomplishment. Again, success is a subjective term so think of the people you most admire and best meet your criteria of success. Were they tentative? Were they half-hearted, partially committed to their mission, vision, values, and destination? Absolutely not.
When I look at the periods of my own life when I’ve had the most frustration, the deepest disappointments, the greatest feelings of failure—in hindsight the cause was clear. I left open too many options, too many alternatives, and too many divergent paths or choices to make along the way. In my moments of greatest happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment they have always been without exception when I made one clear, committed choice to a destination I would reach no matter the obstacle or hindrance.
Please understand, I’m not saying you can’t ever wander off into the proverbial “woods” without a plan, without an intention, or without a destination. It might be exciting and even growth-enhancing to take an occasional trip of spontaneous exploration; in itself it can be rewarding and an exercise in self-discovery. What I am advocating is that in order to pursue a path, a goal, a clearly defined destination you must take the path you choose with purposeful commitment and conviction.
If you have a goal, pursue it vigorously. If you are clear on where you want to go and you choose the best road to get you there, never stop, never give up, never give-in. Let not a rock, a gully, a hill, or a mountain stand in your way. Use every ounce of strength, every resource, element of ingenuity within your being and at your disposal to carry you along the way on the “road fully taken”.