Updated: Aug 19, 2022
This is just about my favourite quote of all time. It has kept me on track and led me to places I may have never travelled to otherwise. It helps me have the courage to change course when the path no longer has heart for me. It encourages me to keep seeking paths with heart and keeps me focussed on my life purpose (to love and to serve) at times when I have feel lost and hopeless. I hope you also find it of use.
‘Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions.
This question is one that only a very old man asks. Does this path have a heart?
All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths, but I am not anywhere.
Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.
Before you embark on any path ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path. The trouble is nobody asks the question and a path without a heart is never enjoyable.
You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.
For me there is only the traveling on the paths that have a heart, on any path that may have a heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge for me is to traverse its full length. And there I travel--looking, looking, breathlessly'...
A Path with Heart from ‘The Teachings of Don Juan’ by Carlos Casteneda