Ryan had a lot on his mind. He was full of ambitions and wanted to accomplish so much in his life. He had just received a job offer and learned that it would double his income. The money would definitely help him but the job was not his passion. Unsure of what his next move would be, he decided to take a walk at his favorite park. As he walked, he discovered a new path. He never noticed the path before; there were no signs and it was not paved but Ryan was curious to where it led so he set out on the path. As he approached a large tree on the path, he saw a shiny medallion at the foot of the tree. He grabbed it and saw that there was an inscription:
The Valley of Integrity
He flipped the medallion over on the other side and there was another inscription; it read:
The Hill of Expectations
Confused, he sat at the foot of the tree and pondered what the words meant. As he continued to examine the medallion, he looked up and noticed a split in the path he was traveling; one way led the traveler down and the other led up. He then, understood. He had to make a choice. Weighing the choice, he wondered if he could somehow take both paths but as he examined the paths, he realized it was impossible. Suddenly, he noticed an old man walking down from the Hill of Expectations. The old man didn’t know anyone else was near and Ryan jumped in front him.
“Excuse me sir, is the path safe?” Ryan questioned.
“Yes, it is but I must warn you, it is a very long path. I had to turn back because I couldn’t reach the end. You can see the end but the further you travel, the farther it seems,” the old man responded.
He turned from Ryan and started his way towards the Valley of Integrity. The valley looked dark and gloomy but the old man looked hopeful.
Ryan pondered a bit, realizing that the old man looked like a reflection of himself; then yelled to the old man, “Why are you so happy to walk into the valley?”
The old man says without turning around, “When I was at the top of the hill I saw where I wanted to be and it was at the bottom of this valley. The higher I got, the clearer I could see that I was not where I needed or wanted to be.”
The old man continues and eventually disappears down the valley, leaving Ryan alone. Everything Ryan could see, pointed up as the way he needed to go but the old man’s words were pulling him down. The Hill of Expectations looked like the path of least resistance, while the Valley of Integrity looked like a complete struggle.
He thought to himself, “I could take the easy way up and wander until I find my way. Or I can decide to take the path of uncertainty down and find my way faster.”
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