Book Review: Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life, by Robert Fritz
Reviewed by Bruce Rhodes
February 27, 2003
The essence of the book is: decide for yourself what it is you want to CREATE in your life (work, family, leisure, etc.), objectively assess your current reality, and leverage the structural tension that comes from the discrepancy between your desired and current reality.
The Robert Fritz approach holds a lot of appeal: focus on what you want, or want to create, and frame it as a vision that ignores the extent to which it is actually possible to achieve the vision. In view of this, "I want to create a world in which everyone is well-fed" is a legitimate vision.
Another appealing aspect of thinking 'structurally' is that it urges us to think in what I would refer to as "constructive terms", without falling into the trap of being unduly optimistic, or blind to reality: for example, rather than adopting the vision of "I want to lose weight" or "I no longer want to smoke", Fritz invites us to say: "I want, and I choose, to have good health". In this way, the structures that hold us back are removed from our consciousness.
Structures elicit behaviour, in this model. Oscillating structures are those that cause us to vacillate between conflicting goals (e.g. oscillating between the desire to lose weight and the desire|need to eat), and usually get nowhere.
I see the Fritz approach as entailing the adoption of certain attitudes and practices. It is a matter of disciplining oneself to leverage one's innate desire to create, regardless of the way one earns a living. The book provides lots of examples of how artists create their work, but Fritz reminds us that the same principles can and should apply as well to, say, business managers and school teachers.
I am very glad to have read this book. I believe that it has already begun to influence how i see my future and my choices. Fritz offers a constructive way to draw out, shape and frame one's aspirations for one's life. The principles as laid out in the book are surprisingly simple and logical once they've had a few days to sink in, and yet so many of us allow ourselves to oscillate and prevaricate amid 'no-win' structures of which we are not even conscious.