Taking the easy road tempts me from time to time because, well, it’s easy! I know that easy never helped me grow, though. I started thinking about the easy road after I saw a quote from Jim Rohn: “Don’t join an easy crowd; you won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high.”
So curious as I am, I wanted to see what this quote meant to others. I posted it on all my social media accounts and asked, “In what way has this quote applied to your life?”
I have to tell you, I love when people respond to my posts. It makes me feel like someone is actually paying attention! (I get a little lonely here, sometimes.) I mean, come on, you know… sometimes you put out a post and the emptiness of the comment fields feels a little like those times as kids when no one selects you to be on their Wiffle Ball or Corn Hole team.
Anyway, that did not happen with this post. People responded, and I was thrilled because the variations on their answers totally inspired me and expanded my mind. If you’ve listened to my podcast or read some of my Curves Welcome blog you know I am woman who loves to have her mind expanded by learning new things or new ways of viewing the world.
I thought it might be fun to share some of their thoughts on taking the easy road.
Don’t join an easy crowd; you won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high. – Jim Rohn
The Easy Road: Responses
Being Here is Enough
“My being me is enough for me. Being where I am moment by moment, trusting the universe to lead me to where I’m supposed to be has made my life of retirement a great adventure.” – Jean
To me this means Jean is exactly where she wants to be right now, and I think that’s the ultimate goal in life. So kudos to Jean. Embrace the retirement and all the great things is offers.
Easy Enough, But…
“When I was 16, my crowd consistently took what we deemed the easy road. By 21 I had dropped out of high school, got married, had 2 children, got divorced, and taken a job as a waitress to support my kids. It wasn’t a bad living. It was easy enough. I paid the bills. But I was stagnant. One day, a woman came into our restaurant. I waited on her. To get a better tip, I told her I loved to read. She started asking me to read pieces of literature and to discuss them with her. I found I actually enjoyed it after I got over the feeling of being too dumb to understand them.
That woman was a lit professor, and she never stopped challenging me. Because of her, I will never choose easy again. My first novel will be dedicated to her and to Robert Frost, whose works sit on my shelf with an inscription from my professor. A gift at my graduation from college, it is one of my most prized possessions.” – Tammy
Wow, that’s truly inspiring, isn’t it?! That professor is living a life of purpose, that’s for sure. We never know when our actions will inspire others.
Starter of New Things
“I have never been one to follow the crowd. I have always been a starter of new things and a prodder and poker of norms. And I am never afraid to learn a new skill. Eg. Three years ago I had no idea how to market on Facebook. Now I do. Four years ago I had no idea how to do a review site. I think, though, that my own expectations of myself are way higher than those of others.” Sheena
Sheena inspires me all the time. She’s the founder of The Lesbian Talk Show, which is the host to Curves Welcome podcast and many more! A little background… One day I put out an inspirational video, Get Uncomfortable, and she contacted me right away asking what I thought about producing a podcast with similar inspiring content. My life’s never been the same since! Podcasting has enriched my work and placed me on a path I absolutely love. Sheena sets her own expectations for herself and exceeds them. I consider her a role model. So thanks Sheena!
A Good Respite
“Easy crowds where you’ve made your place are good respites. But they don’t pull the best out of you. My motivations are internal also, but there are people and groups that shine the light on higher deeds, harder goals, and loftier problems to solve. I intend to gravitate toward them even when I swear I am not going to.” – Jeanelle
There is so much truth in what Jeanelle wrote. I agree that easy crowds offer a rest, and I’m a firm believer that we require such rest breaks along the way. That creates balance.
I Wouldn’t Change a Thing
“I realized at a young age that I was different. And, I didn’t know why or how just that I didn’t like to do what little girls were supposed to do. It was the early 60’s. I guess I decided to go my own way. My parents were usually okay with it, I think?! I became unique, to me at least. I was a good student who got into some trouble, played with mostly boys but could behave when my Mother’s eagle eyes were watching. It taught me to be strong, resilient and independent. And I wouldn’t change a thing.” – Lynne
Ah, I love this. I wish every women this same healthy perspective of herself.
No More Pretending
“When you realize at an early age you are different, joining the easy crowd means you try to become what you are told you are supposed to be.
I still remember how icky that felt to pretend to be someone I knew I was not. I had introvert tendencies, and that helped me to observe more things around me. “Who is that and why is she sitting there alone? What are those people doing over there and can I do that? Can I travel to places I’ve read about?”
When I stumbled upon a career, I didn’t know 92% of my co-workers would be dudes; girls aren’t geeks, geeks don’t accessorize.
It was much later in life that I connected the dots. I had no choice but to walk away from the easy crowd. I was not even close to being like they were. Walking my own path was lonely at times, but I learned to ask “What IF…Then what.” As far as I’m concerned, that worked out quite well.” – Amy
Well, Amy, as far as I can tell, it sure has worked out quite well! I am a huge fan of that question, what if. In answering it, we discover so much depth to our potential.
Never Took the Easy Road
“Actually, what I thought of when I read this was how easy it is once you’re in management to become a typical manager and not care about worker rights and the tribulations of your supervisees. So, when I was working as a manager, I never took the easy road of agreeing with management but consistently advocated for my staff.” – Alison
Ah, that is a sign of a true leader. That’s what makes this world a better place, people who do the right thing even when it’s not easy to do.
“FWIW in my case, it means when it comes to writing, I have to step up. I can never allow myself to become complacent. I can never allow myself to turn in something that I (italics on ‘I’) think isn’t good enough. Yes, that means more pressure to produce, but the feeling of satisfaction over turning out something worthy is worth it to me.” – Jesse
(Just a side note … I had no idea what FWIW meant! (giggle giggle) Which is usually the case with most acronyms for me. It took me a few long seconds, but I finally realized it meant for what it’s worth! Thank you Jesse for making me stretch my mind! And Jesse Frankel, that’s why I love your books and would never hesitate to recommend them! Your work ethic reminds me of something my parents instilled in me… to take pride in your work and bring the very best you can to it.
Following the Dream
“I was a tomboy when I was a child. I knew I was « different » but nothing in the world prepared me to live a homosexual life ’cause I grew up in a very catholic family. To avoid an argument with my parents my twin sister told my parents to leave her alone when it came to her boyfriend because she told them they should be more worried about me, the daughter who is a dike !! We were in our last high school year (I had a crush on a classmate. It was mutual but she was afraid to confess it.).
At the university I had a very short period of denial (less than 4 months) during which I dated guys to prove that I wasn’t « like that » but I was very unhappy. Then, I had an opportunity to go to Paris to work after graduation. So, I went there and I discovered the gay-world and decided to be proud of who I was. I was the 1st out member of my family from my mother’s side (since then the older of my (male) cousins and a younger (female) cousin have also come out). Officially, I’m still the only one gay member of the family from my father’s side (Some members of this side of the family say that I make my parents cry.).
Don’t get me wrong, it was also difficult for my parents. During a three year period, it was hard to communicate, we didn’t know how to discuss this sensitive subject. We all suffered from the situation, but our love is very deep. We finally went through all this mess together and now my parents are very very supportive. When I had an opportunity to come to live on Reunion Island (an Island I have deeply loved since middle School) they were sad to see me go so far away from them. But, they were happy I was able to follow my dream and live it daily.” – Laure
Wow, Laure you are brave and inspiring. You went through some hurtful times – times though that have made you stronger, wiser, and happier.
Insights on the Easy Road
What incredible insights into such a thoughtful quote from everyone. After reading everyone’s take on it, I began my own reflection of what it means to me, and how I view the easy road.
To me, I interpreted it to mean that if I want to grow, I must continue to seek out challenges that nudge me to think outside the box and view life through a different lens. Only then will I be able to begin the journey to understand life’s intricacies and to face obstacles with a courage born out of the desire to get a little uncomfortable in life in order to truly grasp its delicate beauty and endless offering of gifts.
So over to you, what does this quote mean to you? I hope whatever your understanding of it is, that it brings a smile to your heart and makes you realize just how special you are in this great big universe.