The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost is often paraphrased by writers as an appeal to take the road less travelled, an entreaty to the reader to ignore “safe” risk-free options and make a life choice that offers greater risk and greater rewards eg:
“Everyone chooses one of two roads in life – the old and the young, the rich and the poor, men and women alike. One is the broad, well-traveled road to mediocrity, the other the road to greatness and meaning. The range of possibilities that exists within each of these two destinations is as wide as the diversity of gifts and personalities in the human family. But the contrast between the two destinations is as the night is to the day.”
— Dr. Stephen R. Covey, from The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness
Successful business leadership comes from pushing in new directions, not from sticking to convention.
Effective leadership development should challenge us to the hilt, by breaking down our preconceptions and confronting us with our inner demons and personal foibles.
The answer has everything to do with human nature and nothing to do with logic. We like training that reinforces our existing mindsets and prejudices. While most intelligent people love learning, very few like change. So when it comes to leadership training, people want to learn models and skills that reinforce what they already presume to be true.
– Take the road less travelled by Margot Cairnes, from Charter: Oct 2001 issue
Neerav Bhatt’s footprints on a bush track in the Central Australian Desert region
Professor Ron McCallum reached the pinnacle of law and academia in Australia despite being born totally blind.
“Being disabled made me realise that there is more than one road in life, and that the justice system should look after individuals, especially those who can’t always speak for themselves [he said].
“That’s why I am concerned about workers with less bargaining power, about we disabled, about indigenous Australians, about refugees [he said]”
– A road less travelled to the top, smh.com.au June 12 2006
“There were summers past that I wish never came, and a great heap that are kept alive in my memory..”
“Recently, though, quite a few summers have made marks in my book. Now thanks to my travel companion Alan Osbucan who’s passion for photography made him a sunset chaser, I realized that to enjoy the merry months of angry sun means one has to thread the path least taken.”
“It’s a wonder how a 3-day break can be life-altering: you begin to appreciate simple joys like clean air, cheap food, and mundane stories. Every thing becomes beautiful, even boys jumping into the sea can be a heart-up. You start to embrace hope, as well — that when these boys grow up they would also have a terrific summer like what you and I just had: a summer that brought out the best in us despite no expectations, one that has taught us that the road less travelled was worth taking.”
-A Postscript to Summer, Manila Bulletin Sun May 28, 2006.
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
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 traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Lee Frost (1874 – 1963) is, in the estimation of many, the greatest American poet of the 20th century and one of the greatest poets writing in English in the 20th century. Frost won a Pulitzer Prize in 1924, 1931, 1937, and 1943. His works explore the relationships between individuals and between people and nature. “The Road Not Taken” first appeared in his collection ‘Mountain Interval’ in 1916.
PS Reading this poem prompted me to create a website at www.roadlesstravelled.com.au containing Travel Tales, Reviews and Photos from places around the world off the beaten track written by myself and invited guest writers