Arne Naess lived in a solitary cabin directly under the Hallingskarvet mountain range at Tvergastein.

He vowed to take an alternative route each time he walked to his cabin -and did this for many years.  This was also something all visitors had to do.

Arne was determined that no one single path should lead up to his cabin.

He also decided that there should be a nature reserve seven feet around the entire circumference of the cabin.  He did this to safeguard the heather, glacier buttercups and alpine dryad that grew there.

Visitors, including himself, were only allowed to step on the rocks that lay within the protected zone.

And every season  Arne observed the living, undisturbed vegetation from his window.

Tvergastein may have been the only cabin in Norway without a man-made path.

Now, 11 years after his death, there is a single man-made trail that leads up to the cabin.

Without Arne Naess and his insistence on changing the route every day, hikers have unavoidably chosen the most convenient and unaltered route.

When I read about Arne Naess in the beautiful book – Walking One Step At A Time  I found myself wondering about the same old steps I take.

Convenient. Traditional. Boring.

Not physical – but thinking steps.

Time to take a leaf out of Arne’s book and leave the path.

Be Brilliant!


Please leave your thoughts below.


  1. February 6th 2020 by Tracey Wells

    What a lovely, thoughtful post Michael. I have bought the book 👍

  2. February 6th 2020 by David Palmer

    I used to take a different route to work every day after I had taken the Mick out of an SAS trainee we had arrested for walking on a clearway. Does that count?

  3. February 6th 2020 by Philip Raby

    Hi Michael

    Thanks for this interesting story. I’ve just read the Wikipedia entry you linked to and was particularly taken by Naess’s advice for debate. It’s something most of us would benefit from taking onboard

    1. Avoid tendentious irrelevance
    Examples: Personal attacks, claims of opponents’ motivation, explaining reasons for an argument.
    2. Avoid tendentious quoting
    Quotes should not be edited regarding the subject of the debate.
    3. Avoid tendentious ambiguity
    Ambiguity can be exploited to support criticism.
    4. Avoid tendentious use of straw men
    Assigning views to the opponent that he or she does not hold.
    5. Avoid tendentious statements of fact
    Information put forward should never be untrue or incomplete, and one should not withhold relevant information.
    6. Avoid tendentious tone of presentation
    Examples: irony, sarcasm, pejoratives, exaggeration, subtle (or open) threats.

    Keep on the great emails! 😊

    Kind regards


  4. February 6th 2020 by Jane Clark

    I love this. What good advice. I will certainly try to follow it.

  5. February 6th 2020 by Karin Carruthers

    Thanks for this one Micheal – almost brought me to tears, because it is so true. 2018 was a year that taught me to move from the ‘regular’ path and it has shown me a whole new world! Thank so much for the timely reminder!

  6. February 11th 2020 by Paul Brooksbank

    On point this morning, I’ve found myself following the easy path with certain habits recently and this was a great reminder to follow another path.

add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *