We have all heard of the path of least resistance. It seems to be the natural path our bodies just want to take. For example, hikers often choose the easiest way to cross over a steep incline. It seems to be a wise thought, as it preserves energy and helps us work in a way that is “smart, but not hard.”
The path of least resistance is actually a scientific theory as well. Wikipedia (don’t they know it all?) says this:
"The path of least resistance is the physical or metaphorical pathway that provides the least resistance to forward motion by a given object or entity, among a set of alternative paths. The concept is often used to describe why an object or entity takes a given path.
For example, water always flows downhill, regardless of whether briefly flowing uphill will help it gain a lower final altitude (with certain exceptions). In physics, this phenomenon allows the formation of potential wells where potential energy is stored because of a barrier restricting flow to a lower energy state.”
This is an interesting concept to study. I think most of my life I would have agreed--and in certain situations I still do--that the path of least resistance helps us to maximize our energy, time, and talent to produce a good result. But not always.
It is the hard things that often give us the most reward. In parenting. In physical fitness. In our health. In writing. In marriage. In our studies. In working with difficult people. In our finances.
It is in the hard things, the difficult moments, the adversity, and the staying when it’s tough. It’s in pushing through and walking up that steep mountain that we get the most reward. When we get to the top we can see further, and we can take in the most beautiful views. If we can find it in ourselves to get there, our end result is almost always better.
But it really isn’t even about those mountaintop experiences. It’s about the tough hike to the top. How much more effective will we be when we overcome fear, laziness, difficult conditions, and our own limiting beliefs to make the right choices every day?
These tough decisions move us toward our goals and push us to stretch beyond our comfort zones. This applies to physical activity and more, and I hope it gives you a new perspective--to hike higher, push further, and go beyond your own physical limits to do more than you ever thought you could. Let’s make our muscles sore today.
And when we get there, oh when we get there, what a joyous day that will be!