• Patrick McAndrew

The Easy-Going Path, or Paths, or Trap, Either One Is Fine

The Back Up Plan

Throughout the recent years, I’ve begun to realize the importance of focus. I’ve written about this a little bit before, and it’s something I always have to remind myself on. It’s incredibly easy to get off course in our lives. There are so many distractions and so many people telling you that you should live your life this way and that way. It’s easy to lose a sense of direction if we allow someone else to lead us.

When going towards a certain pursuit, many of us have a plan B, a plan C, and a plan D. “If this doesn’t work, that’s okay! I also really enjoy this! And if that doesn’t work, I always have this to fall back on.” Sure, it can give us peace of mind to have a few back up plans just in case plan A doesn’t work out, but then are we fully able to commit to plan A if we have other plans waiting in line just in case?

The Downside to Easy-Going

For those who know exactly what they want and will die before giving up, I’m pretty jealous. I commend not only your bravery, but also your incredible focus to have laser-vision on what you want and your ability to go for it. This is admirable and something that I am always looking to adopt more so in my life.

While I am rather particular on a few things, I’m a fairly easy-going person. I always say that I am an easy audience because I am not difficult to please. Those who know me know that I am generally happy. I truly enjoy life to the fullest. When it comes to deciding the best path for myself, however, I wish I could borrow some of the traits of those hard and fast folk.

Being easy-going has some immense benefits when interacting and building relationships with others, but it can prove to be terribly difficult in relationship with yourself. We easy-going people can see ourselves being happy doing a multitude of things. “Starting a business? Sounds amazing! Getting a new job? Right on! Pursuing your artistic craft? Sign me up!” We become so jazzed about new experiences that we stumble along into anything that may sound remotely interesting. Because of this, our vision becomes cloudy and we can easily find ourselves lost as we decide to adventure off the trail.

The Paradox of Choice

In Barry Schwartz’s The Paradox of Choice, he goes into great detail about how, while having the opportunity for some choice is good, the opportunity for more choice is not necessarily so. Obviously in a developed nation like the United States, the fact that we even have a choice to pursue something is a privilege in of itself. Many people around the world cannot say that. With that said, the abundance of choice can often leave us feeling stuck and paralyzed.

Schwartz quotes, “Learning to choose is hard. Learning to choose well is harder. And learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still, perhaps too hard.”

Perhaps it is a good thing that the easy-going individual can be happy taking a variety of paths. But if they never make a clear and distinctive decision, they may always be hopping from one path to the other without making any kind of concrete decision. While it’s crucial to find what makes us most fulfilled, we also must discover where our talents are best suited in this world.

This is something I am slowly but surely beginning to discover. What are my special talents and skillsets that I can contribute to a certain cause in the best way possible that is most unique to me? This sounds like a complex question, but it’s actually quite simple. The tough thing is making the decision and committing to it.

It’s so tempting to make the decision based on money or security, but these are only outcomes. They aren’t causes and they aren’t resonant with who someone is. We must find a cause we believe in and then work towards a solution through a method that is authentically us.

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