12 Most Hard Truths You Need to Know When Taking the Road Less Traveled

12 Most Hard Truths You Need to Know When Taking the Road Less Traveled

 

When we hear about taking the road less traveled, people tend to think it’s a passionate path to glory or your dream. That is true, but what a lot of us don’t see are the hardships that come along with it, hardships which can scare anyone off.

Hence the lonely road it is.

Here’s a real look at the road less traveled:

1. You will notice the dead bodies along the way

The dead bodies being people who’ve given up or failed when they attempted to traverse the path. These are people who’ve attempted to start their own business ventures or quit their jobs to follow their dreams of becoming actors. They didn’t make it all the way. With that, it’s going to be very discouraging for you and it’s not exactly going to make you feel very excited about your own journey. It’s then up to you to continue on or not.

2. It’s not for the weak of heart

Taking the road less traveled is a tough decision to make and even tougher to keep going at it. It takes a lot of courage to drop everything you have currently (a job, career or some other responsibility) just so you can take the road less traveled. Along the way, you need pure diligence, tenacity and ever more courage to take the ride.

3. Not everyone will understand you

Most people are normal. They conform to society and have their own standards for living and stick to a way of life. So when you venture out on your own, a lot of them are going to stare at you in disbelief as they cannot comprehend why you do what you do. Furthermore, they probably wouldn’t ever try it themselves.

4. People will start to dish out discouragement

It may sound like you’re dealing with a bunch of ignorant people who are too narrow-minded to try to understand you, but that’s not really it. When people don’t understand something, they are all too quick to belittle it; condemn it. They will discourage you from your path, be it your family telling you you’re wasting your college degree, your friends asking why you aren’t earning half as much as them or even people in general laughing at you for your ridiculous business idea.

5. You will need to proceed without guidance

The road less traveled obviously means a lonely journey. It allows you to “be your own boss”, but it is here where you’ll learn what that truly entails. Doing things without guidance means taking responsibility for everything you do on your journey. No one will be there to hold your hand and mentor you. You won’t even know whether what you’re doing is right or wrong, which can be aggravating as it can be difficult to feel a sense of progress at all.

6. You’ll feel like giving up a lot of times, and that’s not easy to swallow

People like to say, “Don’t give up” and accompany it with a story of someone who did not give up and eventually experienced success. That is inspiring to hear, but do you know how it feels when you hit the point of feeling like giving up? It sucks. It doesn’t feel great at all. And it takes a lot of courage to continue pushing on even though you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

7. Self-doubt is very natural

With no guidance, no understanding from others and plenty of discouragement, doubting yourself would be very normal. This is where you start to keep questioning yourself and your dream. The future is completely unknown. And worst of all, fear can take control of you. Even though you probably started off feeling all hyped-up and inspired, that feeling may not last as it is taken over by doubt.

8. You will fail, many times

Failure doesn’t mean it’s the end — it merely means that in whatever you try to do, you won’t always see the results you expected. Taking the road less traveled means that you will fail along the way. Failure isn’t something easy to accept, but again, it’s not the end.

9. You can’t rely on luck

There is only hard work and opportunity which derives from the former. Then it’s up to you to grab them.
You may hear of successful people who seem to have it easy, but everybody has their own set of challenges at some point. So don’t rely on luck and hoping that some miracle will land in your lap. It won’t. Just work hard.

10. You need to find out what works for you

In your journey, there are going to be many people out there who claim to be “gurus” and they’re going to teach you what it takes to achieve success. They will swear what they teach works, but it most likely isn’t going to work for you. It worked for them, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will apply to you. It is through your own hard work and effort where you create your own experiences, and it’s your own experiences that will allow you to know deep down what actually works for you.

11. Success will take a long time

Have patience. Don’t expect things to be easy and hope to become an “overnight success,” which arguably doesn’t even exist.

12. It may not be for you

Some have tried the path. And left. It may not be for you either. It may feel like you’re a failure, or that you’re giving up. But it’s all okay, at least you tried. Your path may be elsewhere.

The road less traveled, while usually thought to be filled with glory and success, is still a road that isn’t taken by most people, for good reasons.

Whether you want to take the path or not is always up to you. What is your choice?

Featured image courtesy of terryballard licensed via Creative Commons.


Alden Tan

http://alden-tan.com/

Alden Tan quit his job to pursue his dream of being a writer on his own terms. He blogs about personal development, inspiration and passion, on the real! He's passionate about breakdancing and loves to meet people with passion.

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28 comments
dbvickery
dbvickery

Outstanding perspective, Alden. I love the Road Not Taken poem...and I gotta admit, it is the less traveled one that always sparks my curiosity.

You did a great job outlining 12 very real, and potentially harsh, truths. Sometimes we get caught up in the romanticism of the glory and success when first choosing our path. Then the naysayers, obstacles, and - gulp, dead bodies?!? - start piling up. Sometimes it is a brutal realization, and sometimes it may be a blessing, to conclude that the road less traveled isn't for everyone.

EmeliaSam
EmeliaSam

Truth. Truth. Truth. What else can  be said? The good thing is that every so often along the lonely road, you find kindred souls, such as yourself, who make the challenge more bearable. Good post. 

missaprylj
missaprylj

@RachelGettingIt @aldentans Wow, I could not have seen this at a better time; thanks!

econwriter5
econwriter5

That pretty much describes all of last year, waiting to move to #vancouver, and what it's been like post-relocation. Bravo.

SteveBainesBiz
SteveBainesBiz

I agree with Carol, you are certainly a Rock Star Blogger. Nice work and it hit home for me, it seems I am always on the road less traveled, but you know what there is virtually no traffic! :))

Carol Gyzander
Carol Gyzander

Alden, this is why you are a rock star blogger, man.

Love this - simple and to the point! Great advice from someone who is definitely following his own drumbeat.

Deone_Higgs
Deone_Higgs

Powerful lessons here, Alden. Each one was incredibly true. I can relate each of these to my own personal journey of self-discovery and in going after my dreams of becoming a published author. There have been many days that I thought about turning my back on it all, and try to find me a "real job." Each time I've experienced those types of feelings though, the question that would hit me like a ton of bricks would always be, "How badly do you want this?" If we ask this question, considering the sacrifices that may be in need of us consciously making, we won't allow the rugged path we must take, to deter us from reaching our reward or desired destination. 

IntricateKnot
IntricateKnot

It can be disheartening, exhilarating, humbling, and downright terrifying traveling on this road. Your post helps me remember that I'm not alone, though it sure as hell feels that way at times. You've captured so much of the journey. "And it takes a lot of courage to continue pushing on even though you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel." Yep, that's it. Ultimately, it comes down to faith, which no one can either give or take away from you.

thornybleeder
thornybleeder

@jenhill aww, thanks Jen... glad you spotted this one.

annedreshfield
annedreshfield

Great tips, Alden! #1 made me pause just because of the words "dead bodies!" But it's all very true. It can be so hard to stay focused and on a road less traveled because so many people are not used to that, and will speak out against it along the way. 

susansilver
susansilver

Fraking true, when I started working as a copywriter my family was worried about me. Each year I have made steady progress.I am much happier as a writer than I was working in retail, even after the challenges and hardships. 

raydrew4589
raydrew4589

@OrlandoStartup @JustinLFricke check that out

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