Society often places a great deal of importance on those who are the first or the best (or the prettiest, or the wealthiest, etc.); many records are kept of their accomplishments. To those who make the record-books, I congratulate you and say enjoy the accolades. Relatively few people, however, can ever be the first or the best at anything.
Consequently, if we judge are lives on public recognition, most of us will be very disappointed. And while it might be exciting to be the “first person on the moon,” firsts are often dangerous (or deadly).
Recently my wife and I completed a fairly difficult hike. Along the trail there were many breathtaking views. However, the trail often came within a few feet of the edges of some very steep cliffs. While contemplating the hundreds of feet drop, we were glad that the trail was clearly worn and visible from the many people who had hiked it before us.
The fact that we were not the first did not detract from the views or our sense of accomplishment. In fact, people who had taken the trail before us understood the experience and congratulated us for completing the hike, “especially at our age!”
How has following the “paths” of others saved your future?