We often hear about crossroads at critical points in life—that moment in time when we face a crucial decision that will have far-reaching consequences for ourselves, our lives and our future. We can remember those moments and often play the stories over and over in our lives long after making decisions and following the new path to our current lives. Sometimes we take the familiar path and regret it, and sometimes it works out just fine. Sometimes we take the unknown road and it is spectacular and exciting, and sometimes we fall hard on the journey and still it works out just fine.
Which road you take matters—not just for the terrain and the new destination that awaits, but because in choosing, you change and become the author of your life. What is important is that you make the choice and you make it consciously.
Our editorial theme this month is dedicated to the Road Less Traveled, from Robert Frost’s poem in his book “The Road Not Taken.” The poem is one of America’s and the world’s most loved and quoted poems. Most assume that the road less traveled is a call to celebrate individualism and that the phrase “the road less traveled” means a choice that is unconventional, a choice that leads one in a different direction from most people. This may be so, as, metaphorically speaking, someone who takes “the road less traveled” is acting independently, freeing himself or herself from conforming with others who choose to take “the road more often traveled.”
The person taking the road less traveled even may leave a new trail that will become the road more often traveled. Says Frost, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
However, with a closer reading, you might discover that Frost explains that both roads are actually equal, that it is not so much about the road you take as it is about the act of choice itself. There is bravery in consciously choosing the path that you will take, making a decision and then taking the steps required to move forward. We face clear crossroads in our lives, some scary, some invigorating, but even more so every day, in every minute, we decide with our actions we will be this person or that, we will do this or we will do that. Will we make the optimal choice or the convenient choice? Will we show up as our best selves or play it small with a fear-based mind?