Give up, change tactics, start over, or keep pushing on?
Everybody experiences points where you realize that you have to choose. Give up the path you are on, change tactics for your approach to it, start a new approach to the path from the beginning, or keep pushing as you are.
This can be a loaded issue, because there are pros and cons to all four options. Only you can decide which is going to be best in the given situation.
I am not a fan of giving up. I often feel that giving up is telling the Universe, ok, fine, you win. I am obviously barking up the wrong tree here, so I quit! Giving up is not surrendering to the Universe to let things happen, giving up is admitting and accepting defeat. You came, you saw, you tried, and you are done.
That’s not to say that, sometimes, it is necessary to give up. Maybe you realize that this path you have chosen is NOT the right one for you. Maybe you have a new view or opinion, and you just cannot see this to its conclusion. Maybe this path is simply wrong for you. Giving up is loaded down with negative connotations, but sometimes this is the best response. Sometimes you just have to admit, yes, I chose poorly or I have had enough of this or the like. The key to avoiding the negativity of giving up is making a new effort immediately after.
Rather than give up, there are other options. Changing tactics is looking at the path you are on, how you are traversing it, and recognizing that, perhaps, this is not working. Is it the path itself, or the way in which you are traveling it? This is where changing tactics comes into play.
It is easy to forget the importance of the journey itself. We live in a society that is all-but obsessed with achieving goals. Yet frequently during the course of the journey itself, we are likely to make all kinds of new and unexpected discoveries. This can be of tremendous value to our given paths.
Very few paths are straights and obstacle-free. Most twist, turn, double back, have bumps and detours and boulders along the way. Along the course of the path itself there are always new discoveries to be made. When, in the process of travelling a given path, we see that it is too strewn with obstacles, we might need to change the tactic for walking this path.
How do you change tactics mid-path? The approach changes. You may have been going at it from one angle, but now you see you need to try another angle. You may have been working on a frontal assault, now you realize you need to approach from the flank. You may have been using a boat to sail the steam, now you need an ATV to cross the rocky shoreline the stream ended at. Same path, new tactic for approaching it gets employed.
Sometimes you have come a long way down your path, and you reach a point where you realize you need to either quit or change your tactics. But there are times when simply changing tactics is likely to produce the same result, and you are still completely certain of this path you have chosen, so quitting is not an option.
Maybe you need to start over.
There is a difference between starting over, and choosing a wholly new path. Starting over is working with the same end goal in mind, but rather than remain on the path you chose in the beginning, you start over. You reach this point when you know with certainty that this is the path you desire, but you see that you need to begin it all over.
One way to look at this is like looking at dealing with getting lost. Sometimes when you get lost, and you are still attempting to go somewhere you want to go, you go back to the beginning and start again. Maybe you choose a different tool to help you get from where you are beginning to the end goal than you chose before. Maybe you walk instead of drive, fly instead of swim or similar. Same path you have been traversing, but now you start all over, and change how you trek upon it.
And then, from time to time, you decide that your best course of action is to just keep pushing on. You may consider giving up, you might think about changing your tactics, you might consider if you need to start over…but determine you are going where you need to, how you want to, and you should keep pushing on.
This will often keep us from quitting when it gets hard or deciding to mess up what we’ve already accomplished by beginning anew or changing our tactics. The pitfall of this, of course, is continuing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result.
All of these choices are perfectly valid. The key to making them, and any decision in regards to Pathwalking, is clarity. It begins with thought, which gets transmitted to feeling, and from there actions are taken. Thought is the first step on the path, feeling is the next, action the next, repeat as necessary.
Give up, change tactics, start over, or keep pushing on? You alone know what will work for you, and so long as you keep your mind as clear of negativity as you can, and you stay focused, you cannot choose wrong. And somehow, even if you do, you can make new choices and seek and travel new paths.
What will you do when you reach that point of choice on one of your paths?
This is the two-hundred seventy-seventh entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas and my personal experiences in walking along the path of life. I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.
Thank you for joining me. Feel free to re-blog and share.
The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.
If you enjoy Pathwalking, you may also want to read my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.