Social Question

trychvz's avatar

Is this good advice?

Asked by trychvz (145points) February 24th, 2012

“In life there are two paths: the path you should take and the path you want to take. Take the path you want to take.”

I don’t remember who gave me this advice or in what situation, but I remember having conflicting feelings about it. In your opinion, is this good or bad advice? In what situation would this advice be good? In what situation would it be terrible?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

There are plenty of times when you’ll want to avoid a certain path because it’s the harder of the two, or because it’s unfamiliar, or because it brings you face to face with your fears. This dictum would serve you poorly if you follow it blindly in those cases. It smells too much like an excuse to avoid the hard work of growth.

marinelife's avatar

Sometimes the path you should take and the path you want to take are the same thing.

Sometimes you should take the path you should take.

Sometimes you should take the path you want to take.

The saying is simplistic and wrong.

wundayatta's avatar

There is a danger with all normative statements. You always have to wonder what the hidden agenda of the person who says “should” is. You even have to wonder where your own “shoulds” come from, because often they represent the voices of parents or teachers or other influential people in your life who may or may not have your best interests at heart.

And when thinking of best interests, you also have to balance short term with long term best interests. They often don’t match. And making decisions based on long term self interest often is problematic, because things change so quickly, those long term interests often become irrelevant. Then again, they are also often very important. No help here on that.

We swim in a sea of information that is incomplete, analytical skills that are not up to the challenge, and conflicting advice. What should you do? Hell! I know people who decide things by shooting dice. I believe in analysis. I believe in understanding my goals and interests, and doing the best analysis I can and in making my own decisions.

I do not like it when anyone tells me I should do this or that. Only I get to decide my own shoulds, and even then, I need to be completely honest that it is my should, and not the voice of some other influence coming from deep in my subconscious somewhere.

gailcalled's avatar

Sometimes there are more than two paths; sometimes you simply need better walking shoes; sometimes you feel like a nap.

SpatzieLover's avatar


First of all there are millions of paths because there are millions of choices. Second of all you can always make a choice to step off the path and take a different direction.

Black & white (rigid) thinkers tend to think there’s a right path and a wrong path. That’s simply untrue. There are numerous choices in life at any given time.

Sometimes the path you want to take both paths at once by doing a job and taking on a hobby or a class.

ragingloli's avatar

What is the point of a life you do not enjoy? So I say, yes.
I also say the path you want to take IS the path you should take.

wundayatta's avatar

@SpatzieLover That’s an excellent little article!

trychvz's avatar

Thank you all for your responses!

filmfann's avatar

I often regret not making some of the mistakes I carefully avoided.
Having said that, I am quite happy with my life now, and, had I made those mistakes, I would certainly be down a different path.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther