Are you walking in someone else’s path?

Blog · Your Work

Cotton ball sized snow flakes have been falling since 7 am this morning, so there is a fluffy white coating over the sidewalks and trees.

I took a short walk to experience the peacefulness of the snow through Tompkins Park at the end of my block.  Though the park has not been shoveled, clear paths have formed by New Yorkers bringing their children to school, their dog to the park or walking work.  I found myself so automatically walking in other people’s paths, following the walking map going this way and that.

Well, that got boring.

I side stepped and finished my walk through fresh, fluffy untouched snow.  At first, I was worried about stepping in dog poop or tripping over a disguised curb, but I took the risk, and something so simple became so satisfying.

It got me thinking, in what ways are we walking in other people’s paths and denying our selves the satisfying adventure of creating our own?

Do you find yourself wanting to buy certain clothes because that’s what your peers wear?

Do you order a fifth drink at the bar because the rest of your friends are wasted?

Do you hold onto extra weight because your sister or mother struggles with weight and by losing it, you worry about leaving them out to dry?

Do you have a certain career because that’s what your father does?

Have you decided that you’re unsuccessful because you don’t make as much as the person sitting next to you?

Do you skip your lunch break because everyone else does?

Have you decided life is a struggle because your parents struggled?

Do you ignore your dream because people tell you it’s impractical and too risky?

We walk in other people’s path to feel safe, to belong because we worry if we stray, we’ll be alone and vulnerable.  But eventually the path becomes muddy and worn down, and in order for you and the universe to evolve, you need to step out.

So today, identify in what ways you’re walking in other people’s paths, and decide to make your own tracks, and if you step in dog poop… just keep going.

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