I am working on a first-time event and am targeting 2000 attendees. Perhaps this goal represents the triumph of hope over experience. 2000 attendees for a first-time event with no funding beyond my personal resources. Yet I learned early in my career that effective goal-setting requires aggressive, albeit attainable, aspirations.
In my efforts I have been fortunate in engaging loads of like-minded folks. At this point I have at least twenty colleagues who share my basic desire, yet in truth where I struggle is attitude. Approach. Aggressiveness. How can I motivate these volunteers?
Leadership isn’t getting people to fall in line behind you. It is getting people to join you.
As this article’s title reflects, the path of least resistance is well travelled and leads nowhere. Distressingly to me, people with whom I come into contact need a reset in training their brains. I’ve written about this before; the dynamic that what you tell yourself and tell others becomes your reality. Even if it is nonsense. If you repeatedly tell yourself that you are incapable of something then it becomes your reality. If you always take the easy path, you train your brain on that path’s wisdom.
Does taking the path of least resistance motivate you? Does it motivate those in your orbit? Does it make you a dynamic personality? Does it make you an agent of change? Does it make you a catalyst?
No on every count.
Folks who scramble for a reason to say no, who search for rationale of why we cannot accomplish a goal, who point to existing responsibilities; I worry for them. They are trapped on that path of least resistance. They do not see that their fetters are illusory. They are not REALLY trapped. All that holds them back is that person they see in the bathroom mirror when they brush their teeth. That person needs to be a better influence!
Is one’s approach a matter of nature or nurture? Undoubtedly it is a combination of both. I’d like to think that one with a sour attitude can morph into a contagiously positive individual. If it can be done then I suspect it has to be an evolutionary change, not revolutionary. Day after day imploring oneself to say yes. To think “what more can I do?”
I generally am distrustful of evolution as a change plan. I like revolution. Evolution allows for too much regression. Two steps forward and one step back evolves into stasis. Yet enthusiasm for some does NOT come naturally. And enthusiasm is the special sauce in PPFE; positive, productive, fresh and enthusiastic. I will not double click on PPFE now but for those to whom I’ve presented you will understand the reference.
Again, enthusiasm is a special ingredient in life. I suspect you have never thought well of a waiter who did not seem in-the-moment while tableside. You have never admired a teacher who lacked enthusiasm. Nor an actor or performer. Rare is the landscaper who is great at his job who does not exhibit enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm alone is of little value; but combined with a strong work ethic and an intellectual/informed approach it can produce affirming results. Fulfilling results.
I submit you should be engaged in as few activities as possible that do not provide the potential for affirmation and fulfillment. Otherwise, you are pointless and your efforts are pointless. Do not be a cog. Do not be a widget.
As a parent, be a great parent. Every child deserves a fantastic daddy.
Be a great employee. If someone is paying you to do a great job and you do not give them great output then you are a thief.
Scoundrels reside on the path of least resistance. That is their turf. Stay out of that neighborhood. I hope you do not belong there. Sell that estate.
Do not let yourself move forward in life with a mindset that toggles to “no” quickly. The path of least resistance is scattered with folks who wash their hands of responsibility and opportunity. I liken these folks to Pontius Pilate.
Be a multiplier.
Be a catalyst.
Be an agent of change.
Winners want the ball.
You are unique and never to be repeated. Be special.
Consider this filter: Always be positive; always tailor your actions to be productive which means focus on the goal, be fresh in what you do, and apply that special sauce of enthusiasm. Positive, productive, fresh and enthusiastic. PPFE.
Don’t let the path of least resistance be your brand.