Living life according to the path of least resistance prevents us from reaching our potential. Randall Burkhalter
The path of least resistance represents status quo. It is doing what is easiest, has already been established and promotes complacency. It embraces average, normalcy, and not rocking the boat. It resists change and progress.
Society prefers the path of least resistance; doing things the easy way, with the least effort and not making waves. We do not want to get our hands dirty; our feet wet, work up a sweat or to use our brains. In the work place, things follow the path of least resistance. People tend to look for the easiest way. If it is easier to accept producing defective parts or providing inferior services, things flow naturally in that direction. Implementing change is difficult because it requires overcoming the easy, the path of least resistance. What causes people to litter? It is easier for litterers to throw their trash out the window than it is to dispose of it properly. Threats of hefty fines are intended to change the habits of litterbugs by changing the path of least resistance.
It is can be very difficult to change the path of least resistance. It is like changing the natural flow of water from downhill to uphill, not easily done. It goes against natural human behavior. Changing the path of least resistance for human behavior takes discipline and requires consequences. If a five hundred dollar fine does not deter littering; what if the penalty were having a hand cut off or death by firing squad? Does the threat of capital punishment deter criminal actions? If the consequences or negative incentives, or the motivation or positive incentives are strong enough, it may be sufficient to change human behavior. Water can be made to flow uphill.
We should be very aware of our own tendencies to do things the easy way. If we continue to do things as we have always done them, we will continue to get the same results. If we want to lose weight, become physically fit, get out of debt, whatever it may be, we must find a way to change our tendency to do what has come easy. We may need a stronger positive incentive or a more severe negative consequence to change our behavior. We must want it bad enough or sufficiently fear the consequences to really change our ways. If the motivation is sufficiently strong enough, we can change our path of least resistance.
Challenge: The path of least resistance is responsible for many of your undesirable habits and actions. Mostly your actions and tendencies are subconsciously driven. Much of what you do is done without having to think about it. You are on automatic pilot. To make real change, it takes having a strong reason to change. Your incentive to make change can be either negative or positive. Your life is hanging in the balance, can you change?
Wisdom: The tendency to follow the path of least resistance guarantees failure in life. Brian Tracy
The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. Proverbs 13:4
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Proverbs 21:5
The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:17
Very often the easy way is the wrong way or at the very least not the best way. The desire for instant gratification, self-indulgence, getting it over with, and other such motivations has very strong appeal to our desires to do what is easy, selfish, or quickest. We should be led by the desire to do what is right. We have to use our brains and our conscience to take the high road. God will give us strength and wisdom to do better at this.
Prayer: Help me to do a better job of taking the high road and always doing the right thing.