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The Road Not Taken Fallacy

by Akshay Chougaonkar (follow)
Life (606)      Life Skills (425)      Mindset (168)      Attitude (155)      Motivation (132)      Perspective (98)      Success (66)      Career (51)      Choice (33)      Philosophy (30)     


A lonely road stares up at heaven
You choose your destiny


I admit I am not an expert on literature. But, I speak from experience when I say that people might have been misunderstanding Robert Frost’s famous poem which is a fantastic anecdote about life. I am referring to The road not taken that opens with the following lines:

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both.”

It is one thing to analyse the consequences of options at hand, and another entirely different thing to take a rash decision without measuring the pros and cons just because it distinguishes you from the rest. Robert Frost had reached that point in life when the future was veiled by a smoke that was a decision. And he decided to travel the road which was grassy and wanted wear. What your future holds for you unfolds when you get past that delirium associated with decision.

That being said, people often take the message of non-conformity or not following the crowd from this poem. Success does not only come from setting yourself apart from the rest. Even the people who decided to tread the path which has been treaded a million times before have become successful. It depends on how you perform the task at hand. You should not consider yourself a let-down or a non-gutsy person if all you could do was to do something which is done by countless other people. You should not let that feeling of leading a banal life weigh down on you. Rather, you should focus on gathering all the resources needed to hone your skills in that so-called corny choice, or career, so to say. You should equip yourself to succeed in that ‘corny’ job/career/task. That way you can strive and be ahead of all those countless people who treaded that path. What joy would it give you to see countless numbers of people behind you; following you and trying hard to overcome you. Had you chosen the road not take’ and succeeded; you would have turned back to see only a handful of people or worse, no one. It is all based on how you perceive the concept of success.

I do not mean to discourage people who have put in a serious thought; evaluated all the pros and cons, and then decided to tread the road not taken. I merely want people who have chosen the ‘road often taken’ to keep alive that necessary impetus. Success depends on perspective. Reorienting your vision to decide what success is for you will shape your future. After all, we never know what became of Robert Frost in his journey through that road not taken. I often see it rather sceptically when Robert Frost ends with these lines:

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”



A lonely road stares up at heaven
Succeed in whatever you pursue


# Life
# Philosophy
# Attitude
# Perspective
# Choice
# Poetry
# Mindset
# Career
# Success
# Motivation
# Life Skills
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He sounds lonely in the last lines.
He sounds lonely in the last lines.
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