As much as this looks like a tagline for a marketing campaign, it’s not. These two words form a question you should always ask yourself when you feel like you are settling for something less.

It doesn’t take long for habits to form, and once they do, they pull us into a routine that is more often than not an exercise in mediocrity. We all know the importance of moving forward, of looking for the best option, of exploring all that is out there. And yet, most of us would willingly settle for a life structured around a set of rules and timetables.

All in the name of having a safe life, one that is devoid of risks; one that could be used to build a family structure on!

But is risk-taking necessarily negative?

No.

History is full of instances where empires were built by taking risks. All art and science has progressed through the ages because of risk takers who were not afraid to fail, and that sheer lack of fear propelled them towards success.

Fear is a great motivator and an equally great inhibitor. We are social animals bound by social constructs which are imagined to be inflexible. This has led to resistance towards change and risks. You don’t even have to look far for spotting them, look around you or even at your own self.

How many times have you heard stories of people who had to quit chasing their dreams because it wasn’t deemed as a stable and secure future? How many times have you yourself resisted a change in your normal lifestyle that required you to go beyond your comfort zone? We all know the answer to this, it can’t be quantified.

Blaming the social situation and family pressure for settling with mediocrity can only take you so far. It’s important to know your fears, your bounds and work towards chipping it away. Excuses are countless, and each more compelling than the last one. But one must understand that at the end of the day the excuses will only help you settle, not succeed.

The areas of life where you settle are varied. It could be your career, your education, your spouse, your dreams, and even the way you get treated by the people around you.

Needless to say, the general inclination is to get the first easy opportunity coming our way and settle. There is a lack of patience and belief in our own abilities that makes us look for the easy way out. We won’t wait, for the fear that the future just might be worse is bigger than the hope that it could be much better.

This is a folly we need to exclude from our lives. Remember how we used to think and believe that everything was possible when we were kids? We could be anything we wanted, pursue each and every dream we had (and make time for them all), and always chased the rainbow.

What stops us now? When you come to think about it; absolutely nothing stops us.

Apart from an older body and brain, we are still the same kids inside who believed in magic, who believed in themselves first.

As kids we never settled for the last rung in the jungle gym, we aimed higher, because we knew we could reach it. So why settle for the unproductive job, the emotionally stunted relationship, or the ‘safe’ courses in life? They will land you somewhere, yes, but they won’t get you where you should be.

Replace your fear with the confidence of a child, and watch as previously unexplored avenues open, letting you soar.

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