In last week’s Dave Rave, if you haven’t read it, we talked about courageous dissent. What is it? It’s the courage to say “no” to the life other people want you to live. It’s the courage to say “no,” to disagree that you’re mediocre, that you’re average, that you don’t matter, that what you do is of no consequence. It’s the courage to say “yes” to the life of your dreams, and the lifestyle of your own choosing. Last week we talked about the first five of these ten “musts.” In the Dave Rave this week, we’ll talk about the second five.
6. You must be fully present. That means that you have to be here, in this moment. Living in the now is smart. Living only for the now is dumb. It leads to nowhere. You must be willing to fill your head-space in this moment with the things that you can do, the actions that you can take. How many people do you know who are in a room physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually they are in some other place nursing a wound, mad, bitter? You know the story. You must be fully present. Think in the moment, act in the moment for the future.
7. You must find your voice. Yes, you have an opinion, believe it or not; a brain, a mind. You’re a thinker, a doer. You’re filled with creativity. But most of us are told to distrust that inner voice, that inner leading, that inner knowing that gives us the courage to find our voice, write our song, contribute our prose to the human story. Find your voice. Speak it. Don’t be ashamed of it. Bring it to the forefront. It’s what makes you unique.
8. You must navigate change. If there is one constant in life it is change. Relationships change. Economies change. Countries change. Vocations change. Energy levels change. Everything changes. How do you navigate change? It’s this simple: you must identify the changeless core. It’s not only the things you believe, but it’s also the things that you are willing to do on the basis of that belief. For me, I’ve been a speaker and a writer since I was 18 years old. How I’ve done it, the technologies around it, have radically changed. But that core passion has not. You need a changeless core around which everything else changes. Remember, you need to know the things that are ever-changing as opposed to the things that are never changing. Don’t fight for your preferences. Fight for your principles. Don’t hold doggedly to plans that aren’t working. Be willing to adjust your priorities in order to get to your goal.
9. You must run your own race. In the Scriptures we’re told to run our race, the race that is marked out for us. Each one of our races is different. Why is this important? Because comparison is lethal. As you compare yourself to other people in life, you’ll be devastated. How? On the one hand you might be encouraged by those doing poorly, thinking you’re doing better, but you’re not. And on the other hand you might be discouraged by those who seemingly are doing better than you, but have absolutely no correlation or relationship to how you should be doing. Run your own race. Do not compare yourself with anyone, ever.
10. You must guard your heart. In the sacred Scriptures we’re told, “Guard your heart, for out of it flows the wellspring of life.” Desire, passion, motivation, inspiration: this is the high-octane fuel of the human soul and spirit. It’s what you have inside. It is what you have to offer. People are craving, crying, hoping, longing for people of inspiration, encouragement; people who have solutions, options, and hope. You need to be that person.
Take these ten musts of courageous dissent and begin to write your own story, draw your own map, and seize your own moment. You can change the world. Say it to yourself. “I can change the world. I can make a difference. My life is important. I will not waste it.”