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  • Writer's pictureAku Energija

The Power of Creation by following "The Path of Least Resistance"

Many people read a lot of books on healthy living and self-help, listen to podcasts, visit therapists, go to gym, eat healthy and yet still feels directionless and failing. Their lives are still in a mess, they are still struggling despite the many tips and advice they have “known”. Self-help does not work for the majority of people. They tried hard to “do the right thing”, get some results, but many of them fall back into their old habits and routines. WHY?

“You don’t rise to the level of your goals, but fall to the level of your systems”. -  Atomic Habits by James Clear

Your goal is your desired outcome. Your system is the collection of daily habits that will get you there. And yet, why is it so hard to form good and productive habits and stick with them? The answer might lie deep in the objective situation.

The Path of Least Resistance

The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz is a deep dive into understanding how the structures in our lives govern our behavior and how, using the creative process, we can restructure to fulfill our vision.

The best way to describe the path of least resistance concept is this:

"You are like a river. You go through life taking the path of least resistance. ... If a riverbed remains unchanged, the water will continue to flow along the path it always has, since that is the most natural route for it to take. If the underlying structure of your life remains unchanged, the greatest tendency is for you to follow the same direction your life has always taken. ... Just as engineers can change the path of a river by changing the structure of the terrain so that the river flows where they want it to go, you can change the very basic structure of your life so that you can create the life you want." 

If we attempt to change without addressing the underlying structure, progress can feel like a losing battle. We rely on willpower to make the "right" choice. In time, we give in and ultimately return to the old path of least resistance and end up having the same results.

The good news is: you can learn to recognize the structures at play in your life and change them so that you can create what you really want to create.

Problem Solving Mindset Could Be A Problem Itself

If your goal is to lose weight, relieve stress, heal trauma, cure disease, guess what, you are likely to fail. Why? Because they are all problem oriented thinking. When you think so hard about eating healthy, your subconscious mind could be telling you that you are unhealthy. Or, you overlooked your desire for a reward until your brain screams loud and urges you to get a piece of chocolate.  [Read more: How To Get The Right Mindset For Weight Loss]

What you resist persists. - Carl Jung

When you fix your attention on something specific, the energy intensifies in that particular area, and it becomes more tangible. The worst case scenario is, the more energy you put into fixing the problem, the harder it is to rebound and hit on you.

"When relief becomes the driving force, people often take actions that are not in their own best interest."

"Problem-solving can be very distracting while at the same time giving you the illusion that you are doing something important and needed." 

"When you are solving a problem, you are taking action to have something go away: the problem. When you are creating, you are taking action to have something come into being: the creation. Notice that the intentions of these actions are opposite." 

- The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz

Start Creating A Life You Want

Step 1: Build a Vision

Vision is a crucial tool for success. Without it, people and their organizations operate without purpose. This causes low impact, chaos, burnout, poor team morale, and the development of a toxic work culture or relationships.  

Vision is a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be. - Andy Stanley in Visioneering

To create vision, ask yourself: What does my ideal future in (health, family, work/career, etc) look like? 

Step 2: Make a fundamental choice to fulfill the vision

Many people confuse illusion as vision, or confuse a wish as a goal. The fact is that vision is hopeless without a fundamental choice. While vision sets the direction of movement, fundamental choices are the work plan changes on the riverbed. 

Fritz uses the example of smoker to explain this concept:

"If you have never made the fundamental choice to be a nonsmoker, then no matter what system you try to help you quit smoking, it will not succeed. ... On the other hand, if you have made a fundamental choice to be a nonsmoker, just about any system to stop smoking will for you. ... Being a nonsmoker is a basic state of being, very different from the state of being of a smoker who is trying to quit." 

Step 3: Accept reality to create what you want

Accepting yourself and the world around you to create space for clarity. The aim is to change your perception from ‘critical judge’ to ‘objective observer’ – being mindful of the way you view yourself and others. Allowing things as they are, rather than resisting, creates a space for you to be at peace in the moment. 

Here is what Fritz wrote about this:

"When you begin to observe reality, begin freshly with the notion that you know nothing. Separate the ideas you have from your observations. ... if you truly want to know how reality is, your observations must not be burdened by your biases.  It takes practice to put pre-conceived concepts aside and observe what is truly going on. When you master this practice, you will have a powerful tool you can use to create what matters most in your life."

When people claim that “I know everything, I know what to do but I just can’t do it”, let’s be honest and humble. Action speaks louder than words. If you are not putting those advice and tips into practice, the reality is, you know nothing. And it is ok. Everyone was once an infant and we gradually build our body and learn skills and knowledge. Just because we now have a bigger body, it does not mean that we have already grown. So keep an open mind and a humble heart to accept the reality then start creating a future for yourself. 

Step 4: Focus as an action

If you actually want to make progress, start small. You’ll be surprised how quickly those small successes start to build into a snowball of momentum. If we don’t take action or focus, change will never come.

Make a decision. Motivation follows. Motivation moves us to action, taking action results in clarity. We decide. Then motivation follows that decision. When you’ve made a movement towards a desired outcome, this then motivates you, which moves you into action and results in a change.

"...once you have made these choices, time is on your side, for the structural tendencies of your life are now designed to fulfill those choices." 

Step 5: Enjoy the stages of creation

Stage One: Germination

This stage is characterised with a burst of energy. A new idea, a new job, the first days of your diet, when your team sets a new goal, the first weeks of a new relationship.

As Fritz explains it, “During the initial stages excitement, keen interest, and freshness abound. It is a time for generating action. Great insight, realisation, enthusiasm, change, and a sense of power often occur.”

Stage Two: Assimilation

The most crucial stage of the creative process is assimilation. The initial energy that you got in germination is over and you are now in the stage of growth and development. 

Fritz surmises “During the assimilation stage, you are internalising the vision, making it a part of yourself. You begin to have insights, ideas, connections, and added momentum. Your creation begins to take shape. It becomes more and more tangible.”

Stage Three: Completion

The final stage of the creative process is completion, which in its simplest form means finishing your creation and bringing it to full fruition. 

Step 6: Revise, live with your creation, and repeat the process

“If you are unable to receive what you are creating, you are stopping short of completion. Until you fully accept the results into your life, the results are not fully created.”

Fritz shares a method for making choices and prioritizing your life by brainstorming everything you want for the rest of your life and narrowing in on what is essential.

"Creators hardly retire. ... Because there is in the creator a deep longing to create. This is not ego in the popular sense, but purpose in the higher sense. For a creator there is always a next step, always a new place to go, never just marking time, waiting for it all to end." 

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