It takes courage and determination to claim your life for your own. You must have strength to swim upstream, go against the grain, and live according to your own terms.
And you must do it.
If you want to avoid a slow march towards death, then you must gather your courage, step up, and claim the life you truly want, need, and deserve.
1. Identify what you want out of your own life
Dream big and imagine your perfect life. Make a list of everything you want to do before you die. Don't censor yourself; let it all come to the surface. Examine your life from every angle and make it worth living.
2. Remove the autopilot
Observe your patterns. Disrupt your routine. Stop doing what's no longer working. Have some fun; there's more to life than workworkworkworkdie.
3. Define your own Personal Core Values
Question the conventions of your society, community, family, and/or religion. Choose what works for you. Discard the rest.
Make new friends. Try new things. Go new places. Get lost in the wilderness and find your way back.
5. Say no to uninvited demands on your time and energy
Avoid the things that are a waste of your time and a drain on your energy. Turn down good opportunities if they don't support your goals. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you must.
6. Say yes to the things that you really want to do
Follow your curiosity. Feed your passions. Don't let a lack of money, time, or know-how keep you from going for the things that sound good. Figure it out along the way.
7. Stop waiting for someone to give you permission
If you want it, go for it. You are the master of your life, the commander of your destiny. You do not need someone to tell you it's okay to be, do, and have what you want.
8. Don't make excuses
Don't blame your parents, your siblings, the government, your gender, your race, or any other aspect of yourself for not having what you want. If you don't have it, there's a reason. Figure out why and make a plan.
9. Live up to your own expectations
Do things because you want to, not because others expect them from you. This is your life; you are not living it for the exclusive benefit of others.
10. Listen to your own voice; ignore everyone else*
Trust in yourself and your desires. Ignore the naysayers, critics, and haters. Stop asking for approval from others.
*Feel free to get guidance from a mentor. In the end, the decision is still yours.
A version of this article originally appeared as "How to Live an Audacious Life" on lynndaue.com.