In Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Less Traveled,” he quotes, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled, and that made all the difference.”

In Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Less Traveled,” he quotes, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled, and that made all the difference.”

Today the roads are freeways, and both give us a choice. One is a freeway of faith, desire, belief, ambition. The other way is a freeway of fear, doubt, disrespect and mostly fear of failure. The results are obvious and similar to a 20-year study at an IVY MBA school. A survey taken at graduation revealed 97 percent of the graduates at not set goals. Only 3 percent had goals in writing. Twenty years later, the wealth accumulation of the 3 percent exceeded the total amount of the other 97 percent.

Two important conclusions — First, the chances for success improves in all parts of our lives when we set goals and act on them. Secondly, most people don’t fail to reach their goals, they just don’t set any, and if they do, they just don’t act on them.

Remember the story about the old Zen master who was teaching his students and said, “We all have two wolves inside us — one is evil and one is good. And each day they wage an internal war and fight to the death.”

“Who wins?” ask the students.

The Zen master replied, “Whichever one you feed.”

One of the real evils is the negative talk we hear from other people. Today there is a great worry about raising the retirement age from 65 to 67. Maybe we’d be better off if they raised it to 75. More and more I’m thinking, why should anyone retire at  all? You might change careers, but there’s plenty of energy to have a meaningful productive life at any age.

We hear the expression, “You can’t take it with you.” Well, I don’t want to take it with me, I want to be all “used up” when I go. We hear, “Hey, I’m over the hill.” Listen, if you can fog a mirror by breathing on it, there’s still plenty of scoring time left in the game.

Speaking of mirrors, don’t spend your time looking in the rear view mirror. There’s no future in the past. Like the Nike ad, “just do it.” The poet Whittier sums it up best: “For all the words of tongue and pen, the saddest of these is ‘it might have been’.” And don’t worry about your waistline. Just think about the people on the Titanic who passed up dessert the night before.

We all have a lot to create and give. Find a way to give something every day. Victor Frankl says, “The meaning of your life is to help others find meaning in their life.” Never underestimate the impact you have on other people, especially children. Like the father who spent the day with his 9-year-old fishing. Upon return the other asked the father, “How did it go?” He replied, “It was a long day, mostly a waste of time.” When she asked the son the same question, his reply was, “It was the best day of my life.”

Carpe Diem — “seize the moment.” Never let yesterday use up too much of today. New Year’s resolutions are great — only if you act on them. What you know is not as important as what you do. Decide what’s right and do it often in 2011.

Things have been good, but the best is yet to come. 6:27

Paul Hutsey can be reached at