How to Be a Trailblazer? Start By Making This One Choice

“I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost

The answer to how to be a trailblazer comes down to one decision: do you want to take the easy path or do you want to risk exploring a new one?

In travel, it’s about where to go and what to see. For your career, it’s what job or project to try next. For fashion, it’s what to wear. On nutrition, it’s what and when to eat.

You get the point. But are you making the right choice?

Is someone choosing for you, or are you really being a trailblazer?

Which Path Do You Choose?

A group waiting for someone else to tell us where to go

A) Do you want someone to choose for you?

To not choose is a choice. You’re choosing not to choose.

And if you don’t choose, someone else will do it for you. The problem for you is they’ll make choices for their own good, not yours. They want you to make their path well-trodden, not veer off on your own.

Not choosing is the easy choice. Most everyone else does the same, creating comfort in numbers. And comfort to your ego. If something goes wrong, there’s someone else to blame.

You’re trained to let others choose for you, anyway. Ever since you were a little kid, you’ve been told what to do. Follow instructions. Learn what they tell you to learn. Don’t question convention. If you do what they say, you can’t fail.

So they say.

Or, B) Are you willing to risk making your own choice?

Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.

Jerzy Gregorek

The harder choice is to make your own and take the path less taken. It’s easy to get lost and possibly even go in the wrong direction. You’ll inevitably have to deal with conflict, bumps, bruises, embarrassment, tears, and loneliness.

But it’s the only way to do remarkable things.

Instead of sitting on your couch, bored, watching movies about trailblazers who chose the path less taken, you get to be the hero of your own story.

How to Start Being a Trailblazer

Chris hiking down a gully.

Don’t Go Wild

You might want to hold on a second before deciding to make all your own choices and be a trailblazer. If you go too far all at once you could end up like the protagonist from Into the Wild.

If you haven’t seen the movie, I won’t spoil it for you. It’s an entertaining story but let’s just say it doesn’t end the way the trailblazing protagonist hoped it would.

Chris amongst the overgrown forest below the Paramo del Sol in Colombia

Start With a Small Detour

Before dropping everything and blazing some crazy trail, try taking a slight detour to practice.

Travel is a perfect way to do so. Even if it goes to hell, you’ll most likely be fine, have learned some valuable lessons, and probably have some entertaining stories to tell.

For Example

Say you take a trip to Paris. Instead of following the beaten path to the lineups for the Eiffel Tower, and the crowds around the Mona Lisa, go somewhere else. Take risks. Get lost. Meet curious characters. And be curious.

Inevitably you’ll get lost and be frustrated, embarrassed, or overwhelmed. But if you embrace it and overcome it, you’ll have successfully blazed a trail. And you won’t for a second regret having “missed out” on the Eiffel Tower and Mona Lisa.

Most importantly, you’ll have developed some new trailblazing skills that you can use in the future.

Huddled around campfire with moon behind us
Swap stories, ideas, and inspiration with others.

And Learn From Others

Even though you’ll be on your own if you decide to be a trailblazer, that doesn’t mean others can’t help. They can teach you useful skills and inspire you with stories and ideas from the paths they’ve blazed.

That’s what we made The Unconventional Route for. It’s a place to meet with other trailblazers and collect and share skills, stories, and ideas. That way, wherever we choose to go we can all go further.

Kim in yellow jacket among yellow frailejones

So What’s Your Choice?

Are you up for the challenge of being a trailblazer, or are you content to follow the masses?

It’s up to you.

Which path do you choose?

Celebrating unlocking the unconventional route

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Chris and Kim

Kim and Chris are on a mission to eradicate boringness by feeding their curiosity and fighting complacency. Discover the extraordinary and join thousands of others every month with The Unconventional Monthly.

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