The road not Taken / Den nicht genommen Weg / O caminho não Tomada / El camino no Tomado

Everyday all day you decide which way to go. You speak life or death. You can be kind or not. Find things that are right or find things that are wrong. You either praise or complain. You are filled with belief or doubts. Work hard or just get by. Spend or save. Love or hate. Which way will you go.

You have major choice points in life. These choice points are when you make a decision that takes your life in an entirely new direction, the kind of decisions that completely cut you off from other paths you could have taken. These are the decisions that cut off other possibilities, so they are really important to your overall life path.

Think of it like climbing up a tree. Every time you pick a branch and go left, you are saying no to everything on the right. Further up the tree it branches off and you must again decide if you will go left or right. Your life is a series of decisions. Hopefully they are being made consciously and with as much information as possible.

Life where you are the happiest is the life where you make all decisions based on what you desire, not what you feel obligated to do, not what you are pushed into doing, not what your partner wants, not what Society tells you you should do. The life in which you are the happiest is the life where you pick up joy and follow it all the way to its conclusion, never dropping it, never entangling or entwining it.

Your life is the culmination of the choices you make. Make choices aligned with joy and desire, and you will end up somewhere very fulfilling.

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.

‘The Road Not Taken’ is an ambiguous poem that allows you to think about choices in life, whether to go with the mainstream or go it alone. If life is a journey, this poem highlights those times in life when a decision has to be made. Which way will you go?

The ambiguity springs from the question of free will versus determinism, whether the speaker in the poem consciously decides to take the road that is off the beaten track or only does so because he does not fancy the road with the bend in it. External factors therefore make up his mind for him.

Robert Frost wrote this poem to highlight a trait of, and poke fun at, his friend Edward Thomas, an English-Welsh poet, who, when out walking with Frost in England would often regret not having taken a different path. Thomas would sigh over what they might have seen and done, and Frost thought this quaintly romantic.

No matter which road you take, you will always sigh and wish you had taken another.

‘The Road Not Taken’ is all about what did not happen: This person, faced with an important conscious decision, chose the least popular, the path of most resistance. He was destined to go down one, regretted not being able to take both, so he sacrificed one for the other.

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