Live like there’s a fire lit under your ass that only action can fuel, feed, allow to grow into a blaze that will engulf the world where your name will roll off the tongue like so few legends that have come before you. Dare things so mighty that even a whisper of your plans sends chills up the spines of the men and women confined to mediocrity, unable to see that the world is, indeed, a playground and only the rebel dares to treat it as such.
At birth we’re each given the exact same opportunity; a blank slate to create of it whatever we wish. However great our imaginations are, if our courage is the same, that canvas will be filled with adventures and thrills and life. The greater the obstacles we face in our days the greater the opportunity for legendary action, but hat’s not how we live. We complain about where we are, we see these obstacles as unscalable walls for someone else to attempt to conquer. We begin to rationalize and as our imagination dwindles our fear grows stronger. Fear cripples action. Action is life. When our fears grow so strong that they inhibit any action whatsoever we’re left in a coma-like state where we’re living and breathing and walking and talking but never doing what our soul, that warrior’s soul has called us to do.
There are, though, a few rebel souls whose imaginations stay strong, their fear remains insignificant, their courage grows. They walk this land doing what they want, when they want, daring mighty things and doing things even grander than their minds could conjure. It’s odd, if you think about it, that a rebel, an outcast, someone who lives on the fringes, is confined to such a category. He’s the only one who’s truly living amongst the walking dead that pervade our cities and towns doing what they feel they should but not what they know deep within the darkest depths of their souls that they have been called to do.
The rebel is alive. No fear can confine him, no monotony can latch on to him, no vanity or complacency or mediocrity can break through the armor that guards his soul because he’s defeated these enemies for a lifetime.
It’s important to be a rebel, a badass. The words get tossed around far too frequently today, like the word awesome, or great, or mighty. A rebel isn’t something you attempt to be, it’s something you already were when you were born but time and expectations and society has pushed you to confine to what they expect of you. You’re no longer a rebel, but within that soul that may be tamed is a flicker of that original flame, there is that original you just screaming, clawing, gnawing at the chains that bind him to be set free, to be released into the wild.
The rebel isn’t a dude trying to be cool, trying to dress a certain way or move to the outskirts of society by doing what the rebels in the movies do. A fraud will always be a fraud. A rebel must be genuine, he’s merely in touch with what his soul is calling him to do, he’s defeated or defeating his fear, he’s removing the noise from his life that tells him to do things that aren’t genuine. The rebel is you, you are him, here are 25 ways to live free, die hard, and become a rebel once again.
1. Get out of your comfort zone. Immediately.
The comfort zone is the zone that most are confined to. It’s safe. It’s easy. It doesn’t require much work or risk or dedication. We can do it on autopilot, but autopilot is your enemy. Get out of your zones of comfort, wading into your fears, facing them, living a life that excites you. Fear is a great thing, it tells us where to go, and it’s always in its direction, not in the opposite.
2. Build a body that will enable you to live free.
A life filled with daring greatly and action and adventure can take its toll, build a body that will enable you to climb and run and ride. A strong body. An athletic body. Don’t allow your body to hold your ambitions back. Build a body that will enable you to be truly free and self-reliant.
3. Accept death, get comfortable with it, befriend it.
A brave man is one who is, “fearless in the face of a noble death, and all of the emergencies that involve death.” As Aristotle sees it, true courage comes from being fearless in the face of our greatest fear, death, and all of its emergencies, like pain. Don’t fear a broken bone or the loss of your life, live knowing that they are a constant and live a life of courage.
The rebel must live a life of courage because he lives outside of the confines of fear. The greatest fear men have is death and all of the emergencies that involve death. Thus, to be a rebel, to be a legend, you have to welcome death with open arms. To live you have to have death as your friend, your companion, extending a welcoming hand rather than avoiding it and all of its emergencies as every other human on the planet does.
4. Spend time in silence.
It’s difficult to hear your true voice amidst the noise of a city. The billboards, the commercials, the phone calls and texts and friends all trying to influence you to do as they do, to be as they be. Silence is the only way to hear your soul, your true intentions. Spend time there. Just like you must befriend death, you must befriend silence.
5. Don’t be a slave.
The more things you own, the more things own you. Don’t be a slave to things. Clear your life of things. Have only what you need and what you need is very little. Don’t be a slave to your phone, shut that shit off from time to time. Don’t be a slave to Facebook, living the lives of others with an envious taste in your mouth pulling you away from the life you should be living, your life, a legendary life.
Find clarity. Find your voice. Find your soul, that rebel soul. Don’t be a slave.
6. Strengthen your brain.
Read books. A lot of books. Go to new places, experience new things, new ways of life. Learning comes from reading and doing. You need both to truly learn. You need to do what you have never done to truly understand that anything is possible and that your greatest fears and worries, even if they come true, are never that bad.
Grow. Learn. Evolve.
7. Face little fears everyday.
Get in the habit, a daily habit, of facing your fears. Face small fears, big fears, fears that may lead to broken bones or death. Feel like a goof, an idiot, get uncomfortable. Be free, free from fears by facing them every damn day.
8. Live like you’re visiting.
Wherever you are, live as though you’re merely visiting. Find adventures, even in your home town. Explore, ask questions, ask for directions, meet new people, live like you’re visiting even if you’re in the town you were born in and the town you’re expected to die in. Walk with the wonder that exists in a traveler’s eye. A rebel will find adventure even in the most mundane of circumstances.
9. Set a goal, then set the biggest goal in that field that you can possibly set.
Don’t concern yourself with average, don’t confine yourself to mediocrity. The rest of the world can do that. Do more. Be more. Aim higher, dare mightier. There’s really no point of doing otherwise. There’s no life in doing what you know you can do. There’s no excitement in doing what others have already done.
The rebel exceeds his reach. He goes beyond his grasp. He dives into projects, breathing life into them, bringing them to new heights. Yes, an entrepreneur is a rebel, as is the warrior, the writer, the man living on the edge, not of life, but of the life that the majority are expected to lead.
10. Do what must be done to be who you must be.
Being a rebel ain’t easy. Being average is. To be that guy that you were always meant to be you’re going to have to do some very difficult things. You may have to quit your job, which is NOT easy especially when you’re then tasked with making money completely on your own, which takes a lot of time and a lot of work and a lot of risk. But it must be done.
Most people will read this and fly by it. They may take a point or two and use them, but they’ll ignore the hard points because who wants to live a difficult life? No one. Ease is much more relaxing, but ease is also death. They’re so closely related yet so few see it. So few see ease as death but hustling and sacrificing and working as death because its those things that are difficult. The rebel does what must be done. He takes the risks, works the hours, hustles while others sleep. He’s come to the fundamental understanding that with every breath he’s moving closer to his death. He realizes that there’s no time like the present to live.
11. Never wish you were somewhere else.
You are where you are for a reason.
[Tweet “You did the work to get here or the lack of work to end up here.”]
You’re here. Never wish you were somewhere else or someone else. It does you no good to do so. You are you and you have the capacity for badassery and greatness. Take that capacity and make it reality. But never wish you were anywhere else but where you are, to do so is to give the power of your life and your future to something that isn’t real and can’t be real. Be you and love every damn minute of it.
12. Be fully present.
Put your phone down. Be here. This very moment will only happen once. If you don’t you’ll end your life with regret as your companion and nothing else.
13. Befriend pain, it’s the only path to greatness.
Death and all of its emergencies. Pain is something else we fear, all of us fear. As athletes we’re trained to avoid pain and injury because injury means we can’t compete. And sure, the same is true for life. But it’s this fear of pain and injury that keeps many of us from doing the truly adventurous things we want to do deep down.
Pain is also the route to success and greatness. To build a strong body you must go through pain, often. To build a strong will you have to do the same. To build an empire you have to spend years toiling and trying and working before you’ll create the momentum you need to create. Pain is good, it’s never a bad thing.
[Tweet “Let pain break you down so you can rebuild yourself stronger.”]
14. Avoid ease at all costs.
There’s no growth in ease, only regression. Recharge your batteries at times, get out of town and go on vacation, but don’t live to live a life of ease, a badass must always be moving, progressing, facing fears and conquering obstacles. He never settles, he’s always on.
By now some may be thinking, This badass thing is harder than I thought, you’ll click the X and get off this page because it sounds a bit too difficult for you. Go. Please. For those who keep reading, life isn’t supposed to be easy and difficult isn’t a bad thing. It’s completely outside of the norm and far from what everyone else does and how everyone else lives. ‘Tis the life of the badass, this difficult life. It’s the life of adventure and meaning. So keep reading and start doing.
15. Understand your motives.
Understand what motivates you and make sure it’s actually you. We’re bombarded with the opinions of others, advertising, and TV so much so that what we want isn’t really what we want but what we’re told we want. Make sure you’re after what you want and who you want to be.
Silence helps with this, as does a journal. A rebel can’t be a follower, he doesn’t do different things merely because their different either, he does what he wants and what’s in line with his values.
16. Venture and adventure alone.
Don’t rely on the pack for strength, find that internal strength that will allow you to be a lone wolf and to lead. Venture off on your own from time to time. Be alone. Find adventure on your own and travel on your own. You don’t have to be a loner but you shouldn’t depend on others for advice or direction, you know deep down where you have to be, get there.
17. Aid others in their quest.
A badass isn’t out for himself, no matter how many movies lead you to believe so, he understands that as a leader others will need his help, not for sustenance, but to understand how to and that they can stand on their own two feet and be leaders and badasses in their own right. Lead by example, but don’t live only for yourself, live to inspire and to aid. If you’re the only one benefitting from what you’re doing you’ll be on a very lonely path, a meaningless one.
18. Write your thoughts down.
Find clarity by writing stuff down. I keep a few journals for different reasons. They help bring clarity, they help me understand what voice is talking – the warrior or the coward – and they’re great for reflection, to see where you’ve come and how you’ve progressed as a man. Write daily.
19. Act without thinking.
Thoughts can trick us. Actions are pure. Acting in an instant can lead to a mistake, but at least it will lead to something and not merely thought. Too many of us have great thoughts and ideas but nothing to show for them. Learn, read, get smarter and stronger in your mind and in your purpose, know your values, but damnit, life is action, action is life. Get out there and act.
20. Make the tough decisions on your own.
We’re living in the advice generation, where our own voice is quieted to such a point where we rely completely on the opinions and advice of others to forge our own path that clearly isn’t our own if it’s direction was given by another.
Advice is great, my business and my life wouldn’t be where they are without the advice and help of others, but always be tuned in to your voice and what you think is right, your “gut”. This is where the answer is and should come from. This voice should be fed, fueled, and allowed to scream the truth. Don’t crush it by always listening to others, go your own way from time to time and forge your own path.
This life of freedom and action and passion doesn’t come without a hell of a lot of sacrifice. The rebel bucks the trends and the trends are selfies and ease, safety and vanity. Move out of the shadow of the average and into the light of whatever the hell you want to be, but understand that nothing of value simply happens, you need to give something to get something and more often than not that something is a butt load of effort.
22. Live dangerously.
Danger and adventure go hand in hand. This isn’t stupidity, but audacity, not ignorance of consequence but passion and zest for life. When things get a little dicy life gets a wee more exciting. The blood pumps, the adrenaline flows, and adventures take place which will become stories told, memories made, and legends formed. If you want to be a rebel, safety is your enemy.
23. Talk about dreams and goals and life, not people.
Gossip is the topic on the tongues of the common folk and a badass can’t be concerned with the conversations of the common folk. He can’t be concerned with the opinions of sheep and he understands that if he’s to live his life to the fullest he can’t be worried about the lives that others live. Talk about dreams and goals and life, but never about people.
24. Know your values and let them guide your life.
Write down your values. Right now. Write down those things that help you live a strong, courageous, honorable life. Know who you are by being able to stand on your values. When the rest of the world moves with the times and changes with the currents, you stand firm as the strong man that you are and it’s your values that enable you to do so.
Without values a man has no backbone. If he has nothing he stands for he has nothing to live for. A rebel can’t be a rebel if he has nothing to live for.
25. Dare mighty things.
If you want to be a rebel, a guy that marches to the beat of his own drum, a legend in the making, a warrior, a leader, then read these simple instructions, follow these wise words, warning, and be counted amongst the few who dare mighty things.
It is not the critic who counts; nor the one who points out how the strong person stumbled, or where the doer of a deed could have done better.
The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually strive to do deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion, spends oneself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he or she fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.