In my high school physics class, we were learning about displacement and my teacher, Mr. Peck, said something that introduced me to an interesting concept that I still think about today. Displacement in physics is simply the shortest and total distance between point A and point B. The path that is taken does not matter because the displacement is always the same. Now, I am sure that when my teacher said what he said he did not think it was going to leave a lasting impression on anyone nor was he trying to, but he did. What he said was a simple thought that did not really matter to me at the time but now that I think of it, it is quiet mind boggling. He said that our total displacement throughout the day is usually zero. This means that we did not go anywhere throughout the day and he was right. Usually we wake up in our beds and end up in our beds making our total displacement zero.
Isn’t that a fascinating thought to think that no matter what we do throughout the day our total displacement is zero? Actually, I do not think it is fascinating at all. I think that is a bit depressing. No matter how hard we work and no matter how much we accomplish we end up right where we started. This cannot be true, and it is not. Yes, we may end our days right where we started but we do not end our lives were we started. I will use myself as an example. Now that I am in college, I have a new bed which means a new place where I start my day. This bed is much different from where I started my life and my displacement over the years has been great. This is my message today that every day we may end up back in the same spot as where we started but some days we make huge moves that give us great displacement. Maybe on that day you are moving into your college dorm, like me. Maybe on that day you are moving to your own apartment for the first time, like my sister. Maybe one that day you are moving to your own house with your new wife, like my brother did many years ago.
After considering all of this, I realized that it is not about you displacement from day to day; it is about the distance you travel throughout the day. The distance you travel is your path. This path is what leads you to your next point of displacement and what leads to those days of huge moves. You can either take an easy path that will get you to a point B that is not as far as you wanted to go, but it will be easier; or you can take another path. You can take another path that is harder, another path were you will fail more, and another path were you will learn more. On this path you may want to give up and quit but if you stick with this path you will find a great point B that gives you the greatest life displacement.
We all have our path in life but it is not planned out. If we do not like where our path is heading we can always make a turn and start along a new path. The important part is to find the best path for you, the path that lets you find yourself and who you are, the path that will give you the greatest life displacement.
I just started looking for my best path, have you?