“The Path of Least Resistance” gave me so much to think about in December as I was ruminating on this blog and the things I want to create in my life. For every chapter I read, I wrote 2-3 pages worth of reflections in my journal. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to create bigger and better results in their lives, and I’d recommend it to company executives who are steering transformative companies. Below are some tidbits in this book review for you to ponder.
“The most important developments in civilization have come through the creative process, but ironically, most people have not been taught to create.” – Robert Fritz
Structure of the book:
Part one: Fundamental Principles
Part two: The Creative Process
Part three: Transcendence
What I learned:
There is a profound difference between solving problems vs creating results. Problem-oriented thinking is common today, but the greatest leaders in history weren’t problem solvers…they were builders. In order to create bigger and better results, one has to have a vision of what one wants to create (lifestyle, career, dream home, relationships, etc) and change the fundamental underlying structures of one’s life to get there. Creators are people whose lives are organized around creating what they want to create as opposed to others who live in reaction to their circumstances. If you orient your life around creation, life becomes exciting, interesting, unique and joyful. Plus, you’re actively taking back power you were previously giving to others and circumstances, and you’re more in control of your path.
- Conceive of the result you want to create. This is a key first step. Get clear on what matters to you.
- Know what currently exists (and be honest with yourself). Look at reality objectively. Also look at your current reality in relation to what you want to create.
- Take action, and expect to fail a lot. Course-correction is an important practice to adjust and iterate on the end-product.
- Learn from the rhythms of the creative process… it takes work! Germination begins with excitement, Assimilation is less exciting and when you internalize the work, Completion is the tangible creation output and germination for your next creation.
- Create momentum. By simply creating and putting things out there now, you are learning how to create results 10 years from now.
Key differences between two orientations:
I create my own satisfaction and am the creative force in my life, independent of circumstances.
Desire is defined as my “true vision of that which is highest in human aspiration and vision”.
Endeavors are “actions taken to bring into the world the full realization of the vision you hold”.
I make fundamental choices that are not subject to past or present circumstances (e.g. I choose to always be true to myself).
I am clear on my Vision before I get into the process. I know what results I want to produce.
I create new underlying structures that naturally create a path towards results I want to create (structural tension).
I look to my circumstances / boss / job / partner to give me satisfaction.
Desire is defined as “idle wishes and hopes” without real meaning.
Endeavors are “actions taken in an attempt to regain emotional stability.”
I make conditional or circumstantial choices based on what cards I’m dealt with.
I get caught up in process and practicalities without knowing what I actually want.
I actively solve problems in my life but find that eventually I get pulled back into old ways of being (structural conflict).
Things to Put Into Practice:
- If this resonates with you, read the book – it’s much more rich than what I covered here.
- Get in the habit of creating. Every single one of us has opportunities to do this, whether it’s at home or at work. It doesn’t have to be something grandiose but it’s more effective when it’s connected to a vision and result.
- Do it in the right order/flow and with the right orientation. Be methodical, not impulsive.
- While doing this, try to organize your life around creating, and be ready to see changes in actions you might stop taking or people you might remove from your direct circle.
- Commit to fundamental choices for your life to create the life you want, irrespective of circumstances.
- Practice the hell out of the above. And enjoy the ride!