The polling question you are about to consider does not require you to fill out a survey or even share your answers with anyone. Your opportunity to comment once you read the blog is purely optional and most welcome.
What would you consider to have greater influence over your daily life:
A) going for what you want in your life
B) going along with the opinions of others
As I've posted the blog without the data to support my findings, I'm going to carry on, relying on 50 years of experience walking the earth, interacting with many, many people and conclude that Path B is far more worn, creating a log jamb of congestion, confusion and dare I say it, contagion. Path B doesn't allow for creativity, adventure, risk, daring and freedom. Let's call this the bi-focal world where individuals can't quite see their destinies or futures without the aid of manipulated assistance to see their reality.
Sure, one could argue that these visual aids better define reality and make it easier to see the world, and I would agree. For my analogy, please take the leap of faith that anything that is not clean, pure and without the need for assistance becomes an external layer of influence like second- or third-party opinions that can cloud perception when foggy, scratched or out of focus. Fair enough?
Actually, the person responsible for giving me this metaphor is screenwriter William Goldman from one of my favorite movies, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, played so brilliantly by Paul Newman and Robert Redford. In the movie, Butch and Sundance are heading back to their hideout on horseback discussing ideals and vision when Butch nonchalantly concludes, "Boy, I've got 20/20 vision and the rest of the world wears bi-focals." Clearly here are two people putting all their eggs in the Plan A basket.
So, who likes Path A? For my part, I'm a big fan of defining my own dreams and realities and charting the course, for better or worse, to see if I can realize my desires. In Path A, all of the elements not allowed in Path B are welcome and encouraged. In Path A, however, we cannot be swayed by the doubt or influence of anyone else. Nor can we ask what others think about their course because any and every response served up will be tainted by the consciousness of that person. Of course, we're allowed to ask for clarifying information and assistance with outside expertise that keeps us forging our way forward but we must be discerning in not allowing someone else's opinion derail our plan. Path A takes courage, conviction and commitment.
On the other hand, Path B tends to be the far more traveled option. And there are perks: It can be easy to muddle along on Path B and there's less risk going down an already-blazed trail. But what one gives up in energy and security can be paved in pain and disenchantment. Working toward someone else's dreams and goals won't always satiate your own.
Ultimately, I cast my ballot for Plan A with clear vision and the clarity of purpose to see it through to the end. The beauty of this choice is that you can always change your direction. You're not consigned to one or the other for the rest of your life. So, if you're not on the path you wish you were, now is as good a time as any to make the switch.
Not to influence your vote too much, but who's with me? And what are you doing to achieve your dreams?
Follow Nick Segal on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nicksegal