Stay on Path

I used to walk to work along Whatcom Creek in Bellingham, Washington. At the start of each new section of trail between streets, was a sign stamped into the concrete:

stay_on_path.jpg

The intent was to keep people from trampling the plants or cutting in one-track bike trails, but one day I decided to take it metaphorically: stay on your path in life. Whatever you have decided for yourself, stay true to that commitment and fight for the right to express your dreams. If you know that going to yoga once a week is keeping you sane, stay on your path and be disciplined in this commitment - because you know it's worth it and you deserve it.

I passed over these signs several times a day, and with each reminder to stay on my path, eventually I actually forgot the signs were there for a real reason, and not to be motivational. I realized how much I enjoyed these daily reminders, how I was constantly re-affirming my goals, and decided to snap a photo.

I tacked a little 4x6" print in my cubicle at work, and one day someone asked me about the strange self-portrait of my feet. I explained the story, and they asked to copy the photo. I just gave it to them, and replaced mine. This happened a couple more times, so one day I printed up a much larger version to frame and hang on my wall at home. 

I know at least one former colleague who still keeps his copy of Stay on Path in his office, as his own reminder for whatever it means to him.

As I blaze a new trail in this world of software engineering, I've needed this reminder more than ever, and thought you might too.