One of the major factors of making a decision is security. Oftentimes, one decision is viewed as safe, and the other viewed as a risk.
For example, going to school or work everyday is a choice. One can decide to cut class or ditch work, but often that comes with a risk of a penalty. Or perhaps on a larger scale, one can decide to become a doctor or become an artist. Becoming a doctor seems like a safe path with a lot of money, while becoming an artist means you might starve for the rest of your life.
But consider all of the people who have ever become famous. Consider the ones that have made it into history books, and celebrated all around the world. Practically all of those people would say that they made a difference because of a risk that they took. You can’t make a difference by doing what someone else has already done because they’ve probably already done it. No one can just come out with an iPod in 2012 and impact the music industry the way Apple did in the early 2000s.
But just taking a risk doesn’t automatically make you a famous hero. Just because you have dropped out of college to start a company doesn’t automatically mean that you will be on the next Forbes magazine. Taking a risk, for an extremely large portion, involves failure.
But does the safe, beaten come without risks either? Of course not. There is perhaps an even greater risk that comes with going with the beaten path, that is, regret. Forcing yourself to do something that you don’t really care for and don’t really have a passion for comes with the risk that you will regret life when you lay on your deathbed one day. According to a recent study, the number one regret for people on their deathbed is that they wished they had lived a life true to themselves, not the life others expected of them. In the end, people wished that they had honored their dreams and passions, not simply taken the path that was easiest.
It’s a conscious choice that you have to make, and if you are not aware of the difference, it’s easy to subconsciously follow the path that everyone else is taking.