I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils;
My daughter is back home from university for the holidays. Whilst dodging the April showers out walking the dog together we noticed how the overnight frost had struck down the magnificent magnolias which had been in full bloom. Heart-breaking to see but such are the forces of nature. Then as we cut across the commons of Chislehurst through the beautiful banks of daffodils, Holly remarked that we were on a ‘desire path’. I had not heard a path called this before so I read up on it.
A desire path is an unplanned or unofficial path that is created by people or animals through repeated use. They tend to appear in natural areas, parks or public spaces where people tend to walk through the grass or dirt instead of staying on the concrete or paved paths.
Often they are perceived as a shortcut or a more direct route between two points that is different from the established or designated path. They can also be found in urban areas where people frequently take shortcuts through open spaces, car parks or between buildings. Over time, as more people use the desire path, it becomes more defined and visible.
So that’s a physical desire path but what about a metaphorical path of desire? Is that also a short cut to reach where you wish to go in life too?
You may choose to carve this path out just as you do for a physical desire path. When you're working towards something that you're passionate about, it gives you a reason to wake up every day and work towards achieving your goals. Pursuing what you truly desire brings a sense of fulfilment and purpose to your life.
Walking this type of path of desire does require determination, persistence and focus though. It also involves clarity of vision, the creation of a plan, setting specific goals, taking daily action and making adjustments along the way. You may need to develop new skills, learn from your failures and push yourself out of your comfort zone to achieve your goals.
When you follow your desires, you will likely encounter challenges and obstacles that can help you grow and develop as a person. You will need to balance your emotions to defeat your fears and achieve what the Greeks used to call euthymia, a state of quiet satisfaction or tranquillity. In his essay on tranquillity, Seneca defined euthymia as "believing in yourself and trusting you are on the right path, and not being in doubt by following the myriad of footpaths of those wandering in every direction."
Identifying, pursuing and staying on your own path of desire will enable you to live a life that is true to who you are. When you follow the path that resonates most with you, you're less likely to experience regrets or feel like you're living someone else's life. You are being true to your own values and creating your own authentic path of desire. Without your path of desire you may never reach your desired destination.
So what do you desire? What path do you need to carve out? Where will your path of desire take you?
Focus on Desire!
ACTION POINT - Carve out your own path of desire in life!