Why do we choose the path less traveled? For the accolades? For the prestige?
It’s not the easy way. It’s not the secure way. It’s not the celebrated way.
It’s the path littered with obstacles and flanked by objectors.
It’s the path of nonconformity, which means it’s often lonely.
It’s treacherous, it’s demanding, and at times, it feels downright insane.
Some would go so far as to call our chosen path ‘selfish.’
But we persist.
Because we know, deep down, that the reward is all the sweeter at the end of a formidable road.
That the struggle is the reward.
We persist because we know that we’re meant for something greater.
We persist because we know that change starts with us.
That choosing ourselves is not ‘selfish,’ but crucial.
We work odd hours, holding Skype meetings in the middle of the night.
We venture out on our own as freelancers.
We watch our bank accounts drain to near-empty. We grind. We progress.
We work for ourselves, building side hustles and businesses from nothing.
We learn as we go. We misstep. We fail. We rise again.
We slowly take our lives back one ‘selfish’ decision at a time.
All the while, we’re told to be realistic.
To stop wasting our time.
To get a real job.
But we persist.
We persist because we know the world will be a better place when more of us are fulfilled.
When more of us wake up and realize that we can do and be whatever we set our minds to.
We persist because job security is a thing of the past–an antiquated concept that means little to us in today’s world.
We know we won’t be truly secure until we begin to rely on our own resources.
We persist because we know that as much as growth hurts, stagnation means certain death.
Because, for us, there is no other choice.
We persist because the rewards gifted by the path less traveled begin the moment we choose ourselves.
We do it for the little things.
So we can sleep in just a few minutes longer each morning.
So we can wake up feeling genuinely excited to start the day.
So we can meet our friends for lunch any day of the week.
So our workspace is wherever we happen to feel most comfortable that day.
So we can work out whenever we want to.
So we never have to request a sick day again.
So we can have life-altering travel experiences as often as we’d like (and stay as long as we’d like).
We do it for the important things.
So we can finally feel in control of our own lives.
So we can spend more time with the people we care about the most.
So our kids can grow up with a parent around.
So we can come to someone’s aid, no questions asked, and with no fear of negative repercussions.
So we can reduce our impact on the environment, one commute-free day at a time.
So we can live simpler lives that aren’t ruled by the pursuit of the almighty dollar.
We do it for the intangible things.
So we can pursue what lights a fire within each of us.
For the feeling of pride we get from knowing we’re chasing down our dreams.
So we can learn to be more self-reliant in a world that’s increasingly unstable.
For the freedom to dictate our own earning potential instead of letting someone else decide what we’re worth.
To be an example to others that our lives and careers don’t have to conform to what we’ve been told.
For the satisfaction of knowing that each and every day when we wake up, we’re choosing ourselves.
To help others find the courage to choose themselves, too.
Let this be the year you choose yourself.
If you haven’t yet taken a chance on yourself, let this be the year.
Let this be the year you do the ‘selfish’ thing and choose what fills you with joy.
By choosing yourself, you give yourself all the permission you’ll ever need.
By choosing yourself, you give those around you permission to do the same.
Choosing yourself is the greatest gift you could give to the world.
And if you don’t choose yourself?
You’ll never know what’s truly possible.