A Life Path Not Defined by Doubters



One of the greatest reasons for people failing to effectively run down their dreams is who they listen to. Simply put, they allow the wrong people to consistently speak into their life in ways that they never should. They present their dreams to those around them, and are faced with quite a bit of apprehension and resistance to seriously running after them. They tell them it is fun to think about such ideas, but to actually take action on them, that is a different story. Many times, these poisoning arrows that kill our dreams are shot by well intentioned family members or friends. That is a reason that so many dreamers take to heart what these voices say in opposition to taking committed action on their dream. Unfortunately, most times these people are simply projecting their own fears, weaknesses or shortcomings on the person with the dream. The person with the dream could have significantly greater resolve, determination and unique abilities to actually be successful. Many people never take action on their dreams, because their life direction comes from listening to the doubters and negative voices from within their sphere of influence. My prayer today is that I present solutions to help you take action, and not live a life that is driven by doubters as you further reflect on the dreams deepest in your heart.


I love the song "The Motions" by Matthew West. It describes going through the motions instead of embracing the fullness and opportunity found in each day They see a few days become a few weeks, then months, then years and even decades before they realize their whole life became a passive existence in which they were going through the bare minimum efforts each day just dealing with their responsibilities in life. They realize that they are bored in their career, their marriage is stale, they never made time for hobbies they once had passion for and many of the relationships they view as their closest are shallow or less than optimally fulfilling. Worst than that, they look back on life regretting so many dreams that they gave up on or never believed in enough to take action on and they still plague them this very day.


One surefire way to ensure you don't live a life that is simply going through the motions is to evaluate who you listen to when it comes your dreams. It is critical that you choose the right people to speak in your life, while always remaining open to new people that God appoints. It is dangerous to stay status quo with who you allow into your inner-circle in life. You should never close that door. Also, I encourage you to surround yourself with people that encourage seeking solutions to problems while offering consistent and constructive input. They will help you reach your dreams.

Some existing relationships diminish your confidence. It could be friendships that do not evolve and perhaps always seem threatened vs. inspired by your dreams. Moreover, there is power on not holding on to a relationship that doesn't want to walk with you into your growing future. Sometimes these decisions are tough, and perhaps the best solution is to maintain the relationship while decreasing the amount of time spent with them. You can do this while being mindful of certain areas of life that you try not to get into much with them.

Now, I am definitely not saying that you should cut out all relationships that are not your cheerleaders. I am also not saying for you to quit on lifelong commitments like a marriage if your spouse raises opposition to the pursuit of some of your dreams. You should always factor in such life commitments you made into all important decisions you make. If you are single, then perhaps you can consider this principal when choosing a mate. I am simply saying that if you allow certain people that focus most on the past, obstacles, negatives and fears to consistently speak into your life as it relates to pursuing your dreams, you will not only see your dreams dashed, you will find that you have no energy to dream or pursue dreams.

One practical solution is for you to go through the process of picking your personal board of advisors. To do this, reflect on the people you respect the most, and the ones that inspire you most to reach your dreams in different areas of life. Look to people who embody the type of life you are pursuing in terms of character and accomplishment. You do not need to officially tell them that they are on your board of advisors. You should, however, tap into their strengths and wisdom in an ongoing fashion. They might be in different areas of specialty. One could be your mentor in finances, one could be a career mentor and so forth. These people can help you live a life fueled by passions and a constantly brighter future.

You can start by pouring into their lives and serving them out of love and genuine friendship through your quality time, love and help. In doing so, you can ensure your outward focus builds deeper roots with each of them. I also believe it is wise to go through the process each year of assessing who is on your personal board, who should stay, who should go, and who should be added if applicable. Life changes in dynamic ways many times over a span of a year, so it is appropriate to re-evaluate things. For me, I do so at the end of a calendar year when I create my resolutions.


The Bible is full of so many rich, practical life examples that we can learn from this very day as we go after our dreams. I love the story of Benaiah. One day he did the seemingly illogical by chasing after a lion into a pit on a snowy day and killing it after taking a flying leap of faith (see 2 Samuel 23:20-21). The reason why I mention his exploit is because he brings out the concept of being a lion chaser. It remains as applicable today as ever when we think about our dreams and how to pursue them. Lion chasers take the challenge and go for it despite the odds. They see their big moments as opportunities to change their lives forever. For Benaiah, it was a step towards eventual military greatness by becoming the go-to-guy for King David of Israel. Benaiah didn't allow the doubters to stop him from doing what he was appointed to do. Mark Batterson, is the Senior Pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. He is a modern day definition of a lion chaser, and he is a pastor! He authored the book "In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day." Below are some of the applicable highlights that encourage us to not listen to the doubters, and rather to live our lives as lion chasers in regards to the pursuit of our dreams!

God is in the business of strategically positioning us in the right place at the right time. But the right place often seems like the wrong place, and the right time often seems like the wrong time (pg. 19). Impossible odds set the stage for amazing miracles (pg. 39).
The more we grow, the bigger God should get. And the bigger God gets, the smaller our lions become (pg. 39).
Opportunities often look like insurmountable obstacles (pg. 78).
Lion chasers are humble enough to let God call the shots and brave enough to follow where He leads (pg. 99).
Faith is embracing uncertainty.(pg. 100).
One courageous choice may be the only thing between you and your dream becoming a reality (pg. 123).
The goal of faith is not the elimination of risk (pg. 123).
The willingness to fail is a prerequisite of success (pg. 142).
Our destiny is determined by whether or not we seize the God-ordained opportunities presented to us (pg. 145).
Part of spiritual maturity is caring less and less about what people think of you and more and more about what God thinks of you (pg. 165).


I have found that sometimes even a down economy can bring great opportunity. When I started Sharp Innovations, Inc., it was in the midst of the dot.com explosion and I am sure timing was a key to my success. At the time, though, my family and many friends told me not to do it, and go for a safe job. They said I was too young, and it was too risky. Fortunately for me, I write this today after well over a decade of success with that firm. Furthermore, when I stepped out in faith roughly a decade later to follow what God put on my heart in terms of writing this book, public speaking and a new role as a business and life coach, I found myself smack dab in a depressed market. It was ironic; a beautifully timed occurrence because more people than ever needed advice, council and coaching.

My point is that you can look at any economic climate and seek the opportunities for success with your dreams. To find opportunities, you may need to do some things differently. You will need to look honestly at what new demands are being presented so you can come up with new ways to address them for the benefit of the world around you. If you own or work within a business already, then first and foremost, look at how you can make changes in how your business operates and in what new solutions, services or values you can create to help an increased number of people. For me, I have seen about 50% of my coaching clientele come from clients initially within Sharp Innovations because of the personal relationships I already have with them. I offered a new capability that matched a true unique ability, passion and dream of mine to meet a need in a changing world. I started by creating value in offering business/life coaching articles and videos through my blog.. If you don't make it about you and first look at how you can create a bigger future with more opportunity for your prospects, clients, key team members and the world around you, then you are focusing your energy best in any economic climate, In doing so, you might just be pleasantly surprised by the fruit of your labors!


I want to leave you today with a few reminders as you ponder your dreams and the potential for failure which could be holding you back right now from stepping out in faith. Sadly, many people never act on their dreams because their direction in life comes from listening to the doubters and negative voices from within their sphere of influence, who maybe are afraid to do what they are daring to do.

You need to evaluate who you listen to when it comes to your dreams. Surround yourself with people that encourage seeking solutions to problems while offering consistent, constructive, and encouraging input. They will help you reach your dreams. There is power in existing relationships that diminish your confidence. There is also power on not holding on to a relationship that's holding you back from your future. Lastly, your relationship with God is one that you should stand firm on. Let Him be the chairman on your board of advisors! Too many people make their decision about God and their relationship with Him based upon the lukewarm spiritual beliefs that surround them today. God wants us to live an abundant life (John 10:10). If you were wrong about Jesus Christ or your personal relationship with God in any way, based upon your spiritual convictions and decisions, when would you want to know about it? My answer would be absolutely today, but that's just me. Fortunately, God is very accessible through prayer and can help you assess your dreams and the people you let speak into your life better than anyone else. For those that love God and bring their dreams before Him, He will also help doors to open and close so the right people surround you as you run down your dreams.

Friend, my prayer for you today is this: don't let doubters lead the path for your life. You only live once my friend. I can promise that during your last hours of life on this planet, that you will not look back on life and regret the dreams that you went for and failed at nearly as much as those dreams that were never realized because you never made an attempt.

Point of Reflection or Action for Today:

"A person without a dream never had a dream come true."

- Andy Andrews