Start living your life and not somebody else’s. What exactly does that mean? Why would anyone not live their own life? Why would any want want to live someone else’s?

Ever watch Being John Malkovich?

In all seriousness, it’s far too easy to live life according to what you imagine is expected of you, or what is the “right thing” to do. (Right according to whom?)

Now I haven’t been on planet Earth all that long…32 years…but I have learned a few things along the way. I’ve observed there are a couple of key ingredients that successful individuals seem to have mastered, and I’m in the process of staying on target:

  1. Learn to develop extremely focused and valuable instincts for what you want to achieve in life and how to achieve it. 
  2. Trust your instincts.

Recently I spent some serious time reviewing the last 10 years of my life, and I noticed a pattern. Every time things seemed to go sideways and my plans took months (or years) to get back on track, it was because, essentially, I lost the nerve to go after my dreams.

Maybe I got distracted.

Maybe I forgot.

Maybe I let someone talk me out of them

Maybe I spent too much energy worrying about what other people might think.

Maybe I didn’t trust, at my young age, that I would make the right decisions when people twice my age apparently couldn’t understand my ambitions.

Whatever the reason, I didn’t follow through with my goals, and I ended up having to pick up the pieces later.

Bringing in the spiritual dimension here, I pray and seek God a lot to help me find the right dreams and the right priorities. I’m not saying be an arrogant jerk and think you have all the answers. But what I AM saying is, if you know that you know that you know that you need to do X, Y, and Z, then DO IT!

Don’t let anyone talk you out of it.

Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re not ready, or not worthy, or not whatever.

My biggest regrets in life aren’t the mistakes I’ve made trying something new, they’re the things I never tried. Figure out why you exist in this crazy world, screw your courage to the sticking place (as Shakespeare would say), and go kick ass.

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God.

Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Take a flying leap of faith. Chase the lion!

Mark Batterson