One of many pieces of wisdom I picked up in my time learning the storytelling craft in a Scott Myers online class was the idea of choosing the path of least resistance. The course was on screenwriting, and the notion was that you could do yourself a big favour by choosing the path to have your film made with the fewest obstacles.
So, for example, if you’re a first-time writer, your way of least resistance probably involves keeping your script helicopter free. Of course, you could also do yourself a big favour by creating a good story.
The idea keeps popping up in my life; as I read stories of others and look at my life; writing, business, and work. It has a nice ring to it — the path of least resistance and gives a binary perspective to the projects, work and conversations you take on.
What is the path of least resistance to a life well lived? What is a life of maximum resistance? What is resistance? Is it possible to capture it at the moment, or is it only recognised retrospectively?
I’m on a journey to find out.
Last week I saw a Linked In post about a blog written by a palliative nurse in Australia who recorded the top five regrets she heard from her patients as they were dying. You can read the full blog from Truth Theory here, but below are the top two:
1. Being true to oneself — having the courage to live the life they wanted, rather than the expected one.
2. Wished they’d worked less
These regrets speak of being on a path of too much resistance towards a life well lived.
Living another up to others’ expectations, or spending time working, when there was a better way to spend your time — resistance.
The path of least resistance isn’t the same as taking the easy road; it’s eliminating unnecessary struggles along the way to doing something important.
Knowing what looks like resistance means understanding your path — a road in the direction you wish to travel. Which can be hard to find sometimes and harder to hold onto in life of distractions — digital or otherwise.
Losing your path can feel like you’ve come under a spell.