Many of us have dreamed of packing up our lives and starting afresh in a faraway, exotic location. That inner voice we stifled many years ago when we traded our ambition for security occasionally finds its way into the forefront of our minds. Whether we are considering chasing after a childhood dream, holiday romance, or simply an urge to expand our horizons the majority of us will reason ourselves out of any kind of life-changing action. After all, there are responsibilities to be met. Work, friends, family, and a whole host of other issues that we are convinced will fall apart in the event of our absence. Maybe the desired change doesn’t require a new location. Changing our job, partner, or lifestyle can bring up similar feelings of anxiety which can force us to abandon our dreams. With change comes fear, and it is this fear that leads millions of people to continue on in unsatisfying and unhappy lives. Often the fear is completely unwarranted and serves only to imprison us in the false security of our own making. By challenging this fear and breaking out of our self-imposed restrictions we can achieve things that we previously thought were impossible.

Take a moment to travel back to the person you were at thirteen years old and try to remember all the hopes and aspirations you held in those years Before self-doubt and fear began to cloud our perceptions even the most out-of-reach goals seemed possible. As we grow and life takes its toll on our spirit and determination those dreams seem to slip further away until they are buried under a sea of rationality. We are convinced by ourselves and others that any kind of unconventional pursuit is a selfish and risky venture that will inevitably end in failure. How many of us have watched an opportunity slip through our fingers after we convinced ourselves that following it up would lead to disaster? The probability of failure is magnified by an unconfident approach, and many of us will act as our own worst enemies. Only by channeling this fear into something positive that will push us to achieve our goals can we break this destructive cycle.

Fear is a disease that has been used throughout history to control and manipulate people and cause them to turn on one another. Every time we turn on the news there are stories that warn us of dangers to our freedom, health, and personal safety. We are drip-fed these stories by a media that sensationalize imaginary threats to our well-being and the result is a society that lives in a constant state of fear and anxiety. This fear lives in every one of us and manifests itself in small yet significant ways such as our reluctance to risk everything in the pursuit of our goals.

The fact is we are on this Earth for an incredibly short amount of time. We are given only one life and if we surrender our one chance to imaginary fears, what can we hope to accomplish with our lives? The sun has no obligation to rise and set each day and there are no guarantees that we will make it into our twilight years. We are incredibly lucky just to be here on this beautiful planet and we owe it to ourselves to make the most of it with each passing day. Our responsibilities to our friends and family can still be met without sacrificing our happiness or personal goals. The only regret we should have is the regret that we never tried to follow our dreams to the best of our ability. Even if our journey ends in failure the simple act of trying will lead to an infinite number of possibilities that would never have been available if we did not make the effort.

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