Photo: E. Klink
Everyone is looking for the road less traveled.
Some of us want to hike to Machu Picchu, venturing high in the Andes to visit this mysterious ruined Incan city while gazing down through the mists of the Urubamba River valley.
Others want to climb in the icy footprints of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary up the treacherous Khumbu Icefall to reach the summit of Mount Everest. (People pay five figures to do so each year.)
Then there are those of us who want to tempt fate via the Haiku stairs on Oahu, a hike that is breathtaking, dangerous and actually illegal.
But why is it that many of the same people complain at the “ordinary” challenges the universe throws their way—a flat tire, a flooded basement, a job loss—don’t these serve to test one’s mettle enough?
Maybe we want to face these mountainous marvels because somehow they seem easier than changing careers, a relationship or a lifestyle. Maybe well think it makes a better story or maybe we just believe it would be somehow easier to do. After all, there are Sherpas to show you the way to the top at some of these places. Then again, perhaps we just want the “Instagramification.”
But there is no “off the beaten path” in this world. The road less traveled is the one you’re on, the one no one else has really ever traversed.
And it’s a guaranteed rough path.
In recent years, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been taking shots from the tabloids regarding his personal life, his record as governor, and his recent movie comeback.
But instead of chuckling at late night jokes at his expense (whether deserved or otherwise) the success-minded will ask themselves some questions: do I have the strength within me to achieve everything I ever wanted? Can I even dream that big? Arnold’s words, taken from a 2009 USC commencement address demand harsh introspection and action.
Dig deep down and ask yourself who do you want to be? Not what but who? What is the point of living on this Earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?
Arnold started with no money, no connections, no U.S. citizenship, no command of the English language. There were a million reasons he should have just stayed in Thaal, Austria. He didn’t just market himself as a body builder, he became a world champion. He didn’t just market himself as a movie star, he willed himself into becoming one.
This video features lots of imagery of Arnold in his prime, but it’s really less about him (he got his) and more about you.
Watch it, and put your goals against this template for success.