Remember this statement for the rest of your life, it’ll serve you well:

“The Path of Least Resistance is the Path of Pain”

What does it mean and how will it help you?

It’s simple. After 30 yrs of life experience I have come to the conclusion that it’s an unbreakable law of nature that living for short-term pleasures means living for long-term pain. On the flip side, if you can overcome your desires for instant gratification and keep your eye on what you want in the long-term, you can have anything you want!

Caving into short-term desires is taking the path of least resistance. Having the mental toughness to say no is harder, but will give you long-term success and happiness. This requires STRENGTH. Let’s take a look at an example that we all know well.

If I want to transform the shape of size of my body, I must push against RESISTANCE. In doing so, I sculpt my body.

If I want to transform my life in any way, I must also push against RESISTANCE. In doing so, I sculpt my character.

What would happen if I took the path of least resistance here? NOTHING! I could skip my workout, or I could go to the gym and do a half-assed job. But since INTENSITY is the key to a productive workout, it would have no transformative effect on my body.

In life you can always just take the path of least resistance. Sure you’ll feel good in the short-term, but your life will suck and you’ll NEVER be able to accomplish anything worthwhile.

Check out some examples of this. In the left column is the area of life. In the middle is Path of Least Resistance, and in the right is the Path of Resistance.

  • Finances | Living Beyond Your Means & Debt Vs Security & Possibly Even Wealth
  • Physically | Tasty Food Anytime You like But Being Overweight & Unhealthy Vs Healthy, Vital, Lean, & Energetic
  • Training | Optional & Easy With No Results Vs Mandatory, Hard, But Effective And Transformative!
  • Relationships | Not Taking Time With The Most Important People Which Leads To Deterioration Vs Taking Time To Nurture Those Relationships, Which Causes Them To Further Grow & Flourish

You see, nature has set the game of life up beautifully in my opinion.

How?

Just like your physical body grows in response to a high level of resistance, YOU grow as a person in response to overcoming resistance/challenges in your life.

Ultimately I believe that every problem has a purpose. As such then there are no problems, just challenges. A problem is a random obstacle that has unfortunately come your way. A challenge is meaningful and has purpose.

Think about it. If you were to overcome the challenges in your life right now, wouldn’t you have grown as a person as a result? I have no doubt that you would have. This is because nature would have required you to push outside of your comfort zone and forced you to enlarge your skills/abilities, or just become a bigger and better person.

Perhaps the purpose of life is to continually grow; to become more. If so, the game has been masterfully designed because there is no such thing as a challenge-free life. The trick is to understand and embrace the challenges in your life as opportunities for growth in disguise.

But doesn’t taking the more resistant path require self-discipline?

Yep! And that’s great too because discipline is freedom.

Discipline is often associated with a lack of freedom, but this is totally and utterly wrong. Discipline = Freedom.

If you have no sense of discipline, you can never really choose what you want for your life. For example, a guy wants to get rid of his gut and decides to do something about it. 2 weeks later after the motivation has worn off, he lacks the discipline to keep going until he reaches his goal. A person like this is going to be blown about by the winds of life for all his days. He simply doesn’t have what it takes to chart his own course in life.

In contrast, the person who has discipline can CHOOSE whatever he or she wishes for their life because they KNOW it’s going to happen sooner or later. How do they know? Because they JUST DON’T QUIT. This is total freedom. The freedom to master your own life and choose whatever it is you really want.

Developing discipline not only brings freedom, but a sense of accomplishment, confidence, equanimity, and happiness.

This is the total opposite of what you’re fooled into believing by taking the path of least resistance. You’d think you’d be happier by taking the easy option, but you never are. Allowing yourself to be seduced by the short-term pleasures of the world always ends in misery.

Losers always take the easy option. Winners NEVER take the path of least resistance. Step up!

I’ll leave you with a quote I love from Og Mandino,

“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy”

Mark

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