Ali Jafarian

I recently watched the movie “The Martian.” Regardless of my bias and interest towards space travel, it was an awesome movie. So awesome that it inspired me to write this post.

As humans, most of us fall into the habit of “settling.” One of the main definitions of settling is:

Adopt a more steady or secure style of life, especially in a permanent job and home.

The keywords here are steady and secure. Most people want this. Most people do this. Most people settle because it’s safe… which is okay.

So… what’s the problem with settling?

Nothing. If you want to settle, by all means you should settle. Over 99% of people settle and get by just fine. However, the people that settle are NOT like Matt Damon’s character in The Martian. They don’t push science to new limits. They don’t take risks. They don’t solve the hardest problems. At the end of the day, they don’t help humanity reach it’s full potential… unfortunately.

By settling we succumb to the status quo. We become content and fall into static routines of acceptance. Most of us wake up, go to work, hit the gym (maybe), eat some dinner, watch TV, and then pass out. And then we do it all over again… 300+ times per year. We settle into lifestyles of repetition and consistency. We do what we’re told at work, and then we do what we know at home. We become sheep.

The Alternative – Unsettle

Instead of settling, try to do the opposite and see what happens. For example:

Wake up early and see the sunrise instead of sleeping in until 30 minutes before you have to leave for work. Go for a run or walk and see what happens around you that early in the morning.

Challenge something at work – a process, idea, or philosophy. Think outside the norm and see if you can find a better way to do things. If your better ways are not well received, it’s probably time to start your own business!

Do something different at the gym instead of hitting the same body parts on the same days of the week. Push your body into a new routine, or a new fitness regiment, and see how it responds. Try yoga or CrossFit, or something new that you never thought you’d like.

Cook a new meal tonight. Pick a recipe or type of food that you’ve never cooked before and see how it turns out.

Tackle a new hobby instead of hitting the couch for your nightly TV lineup. Try something you’ve always talked about, or something completely random.

Starting to get the point?

The concept here is getting out of your comfort zone. By doing so, you will learn so much, in both good and bad ways. You’ll learn more about yourself, how things work, and more about the world in general. You’ll uncover things you could have never realized by settling. By not settling, you put yourself in the mindset that there’s always more to do or learn. This is how we create life on Mars. This is how humanity reaches it’s full potential.


There’s A LOT of life to experience, and chances are you’re missing out on 99% of it because you’re settling. The world needs more people who push it’s limits and do great things… So stop settling today!

Photo credit: Ales Krivec


  • Hamed

    Great reminder and simple tips to follow to overcome the inertia of our day to day routines. Thanks for the post!

  • Jeff Pierson

    I think not settling is about more than not just doing the same thing everyday, its about doing the same thing you love everyday. I do appreciate the tedium of repetition, but even in our repetition there can be uniqueness to everyday. For example, I do the same job everyday, but everyday comes with new challenges and goals. Finding something you love is the real challenge and finding a way to keep it is even harder. Still, you are not wrong, “Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.”-H. Jackson Brown, Jr., even in my relative youth I know those words to be true, “You will regret the tings you didn’t do”. PS. I wasn’t trying to rhyme there but I’m just going to leave it.

  • Great post. Good words. I totally agree. But in the daily routine, I forget about it sometimes . And your reminder has been very helpful.

  • Gaurav Edekar

    Great words Ali….Had just dropped by to check an update and happened to read this … :)