In case you haven’t figured it out yet, there is a conspiracy afoot; a plan, an effort to keep you mediocre, miserable, and unfulfilled.
It started when you were young and has persisted through all the major institutions in your life; a call to compliance, be in step, be like everyone else. I’m calling for courageous dissent. Not critical, sarcastic, drop-out rebellion, but courageous dissent that says, “I will live the life that I choose. I will be fully who I am, do what I do, find my own way.”
To do that, you’re going to need courage. Here are ten musts to the art of choosing your own life, pursuing your own dreams, and changing the world your way.
- You must believe you matter. When did you stop believing you were Superman? When did you stop dreaming and being creative? When did you stop thinking about all the amazing things you would do and the amazing person you would become? If you’re like 99% of the rest of the population, you now believe you’re ordinary and average, that your life is just a number, that you need to just behave, get in line, and not make waves. You must believe you matter. If you don’t, then you’re done and you’re just coasting until the day you die.
- You must stop listening to your critics. You know who they are; the people who tell you what you can’t do. Like my sixth-grade teacher who told me I would never be able to write because I couldn’t conjugate a verb; all the rejection letters I got for years and years from publishers who said I wasn’t good enough. And yet this past weekend, I signed over 30 books that I’ve written that go out into the hearts and souls of people all over the country. Don’t listen to your critics.
- You must discover your passion. God was good to me very early and I discovered my passion while I was a teenager. I’ve been pursuing it relentlessly in a constant stream and have been going toward the goal. Maybe you’re in your thirties, forties, fifties, even sixties and you still haven’t taken the time to figure out the one or two things for which you have a sustainable passion. Stop right now. Do it. Find out what it is. It is there. Maybe you’ve muted it, or ignored it. But you’ve got to find it and then pursue it.
- You must define success for you. What kind of lifestyle do you want to live? What kind of house do you want to live in? What kind of cars do you want to drive? How important is money? How important is freedom to travel? All of these things make up your own courageous dissent. You must define, at the end of the day, what is success for you. What kind of legacy do you want to leave? How do you want to be remembered?
- You must develop your skills. You have them. They’re there. They’ve probably been ignored because you’ve taken aptitude tests and been told to do a certain thing. You have to find those skills, hone them, invest in them, learn, and become better than anybody else at what you do.
You must have the courage to say “no” to those who want to live your life for you, and “yes” to the life for which you were created to pursue the renegade life: the life that is free, fun, and fulfilling. It’s your right. It’s your destiny. And you’re going to have to seize the opportunity to do it. In the next Dave Rave I’ll give you the other “five musts” in the art of courageous dissent.