The Path Of Least Resistance Leads To Crooked Rivers And Crooked Men

“The path of least resistance leads to crooked rivers and crooked men.” – Henry David Thoreau

Last Sunday a friend shared that quote during a conversation about doing the right thing even though doing the right thing isn’t always the easy thing. I liked the quote so much that I hurried and wrote it down so I could remember to share it with all of you.

I love the quote because I have seen so many people go off track in business and in life because they took the path of least resistance. Instead of telling the truth they chose to tell a lie, because they decided that telling the truth required more effort, or came at more of a cost, than telling a lie. Instead of keeping their commitments and doing the things they said they would do they decided it was just easier to cut a few corners here and there so they could avoid doing the work needed. Instead of standing up for what was right, they gave in to social pressures and just went with the flow of the crowd to try and “fit in”.  They may have set out to stay on a straight and narrow path but after a few lies here and there, and a few corners cut here and there, they quickly find that they have allowed themselves to forge a crooked path in every aspect of their life.

I so admire people who don’t just go with the flow, but who stand strong and stay straight at all times, in all places, and in all circumstances. I admire people who are willing to stay true to their beliefs and not be swayed by the latest trends of what’s “in” at the moment. I love people who are honest all of the time and who value their integrity over their success. Those are the people to look up to and try and pattern our lives after.

Just floating through life allowing yourself to go wherever the water wants to take you is never going to end up in a place where you would want to be. Decide the straight path you want to forge and then stick with it – even when it’s hard – and even when it holds a few disappointments along the way. Remember that the shortest path between where you are now and where you want to get to is always going to be a straight line – so stay straight!

Have a great one!

~Amy Rees Anderson


  • Barb Emahiser says:

    This is so timely and awesome! Thank you!!

  • Heather Vogeley says:


    One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2017 was Integrity. I chose this because of your postings on integrity (like this one) and that I have seen too many people without it.

    I have discovered that I am drawn to movies and shows of people with high integrity and altruism.

  • DeWayne Edwards says:

    Thank you

  • Alan Reber says:

    Amen! Reminds me of Matthew 7:14 Jesus is Lord Philippians 2:11

  • Leeroy says:

    Crooked management reeks of this
    Lazy fat cats blowing smoke
    I see this daily

  • Dave Mitchell says:

    I understand, and even agree with what you said, but consider the fact that even the Colorado, which carved the amazing Grand Canyon, was just taking the path of least resistance.

  • Anonymous says:

    Following the path of least resistance can allow you to reach the sea without having to blast costly and disruptive tunnels through the mountains.

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