Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Going through life and living it the way you see fit requires mountains of courage and sacrifice. I believe that we are all placed on this planet with a purpose to fulfil. Some of us are here to work in a factory, to teach, to look after others, to sell things, to paint, to write, to fix things etc. And the closer you get to your purpose in life, the more juice you will get from it. In mythology they refer to those who travel through life following their destiny as those who walk “the left hand path.” So what does that mean? For me, it’s about not following everyone else or convention. It’s about finding your passion in life and going in that direction. Most people go through life blindly following everyone else and end up experiencing a life that is half lived. Half lived because it’s following the crowd rather than your own impulses.

And this has nothing to do with your vocational choice. I know plenty of people in the business world who live empty, unfulfilled lives and plenty of people who earn 6-figure incomes who are unhappy with where life is leading them. In short, it’s about everything that you do, think and act upon. It’s about not being afraid to live the life that you want. Just because you make different choices with what you do does not make you wrong. If you want to take up surfing at ninety, then why not do that? If you want to learn how to play a musical instrument at forty, then why not do that? Life has no restrictions. There has never been a better time in history to do exactly what you want to do – everything is on a silver platter. I love seeing people in my school who are over thirty taking up martial arts. Because that is everything I have just written about – in action. People following a voice inside them that says “You know what? I am going to give martial arts a go – I have always wanted to do that.” That’s following your passion and doing things that make sense to you, irrespective of what others may or may not think about it.

So is there a downside to living your passion? No and Yes. No because you a following your heart and its bliss. Yes because it’s not always easy to walk down the left hand path and I will explain what I mean. Chances are that if you are living a life that is different from those around you that it’s hard to get moral support. For some unknown reason people seem to take a lot of joy in knocking people down who are different or living different lives. I think on some level those who knock others are uncomfortable with anyone doing anything outside the norm because it exposes their own personal insecurities about trying new things. So my only advise is to do it anyway. I have a mentor in the USA who lives his life working on the premise that if your not getting criticism from people you’re not trying hard enough. And I think that’s a great way to look at it.