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The Value of Breaking the Rules

Small post for today.

Every day, I challenge myself to do a few things.

One, is to break a small rule.

While listening to a speech by Neil Gaimon, I heard a line that stuck out to me.

“If you don’t know it’s impossible it’s easier to do. And because nobody’s done it before, they haven’t made up rules to stop anyone doing that again, yet.”

It made me think. What rules are holding me back from accomplishing what I want to do? What rules bind me into doing what I know I’m capable of?

We all live with these inconsequential rules and norms that serve nothing. While many rules have their usefulness, an equal number of rules are absolutely stupid. Most rules in our society are designed for the convenience of others, and rarely ourselves. It is easy to let meaningless rules keep us away from attaining our goals. Small rules trap us, and only when we break them, do we escape them.

Instead of being paralyzed by fear of feeling out of place or by getting reprimanded by The Man, go break small, stupid rules so you won’t be afraid of being bold in your larger pursuits. Be comfortable with breaking the rules, and confident with knowing that people are judging you.

Some examples you can try:

  1. Lie down in a public place for 10 seconds. Get up without saying a word. (Shoutout to Tim Ferriss for this one)
  2. Enter through the Exit door of a store. Exit through the Enter door.
  3. Drive the wrong way in an empty parking lot.
  4. Eat food in the store. Bring the empty wrapper up to pay.
  5. Wear a strange article of clothing often. (I wear leggings all the time. Get used to getting strange looks.)
  6. Dick around. Do something foolish in public. Ride around on an electric cart on the store. Do “parkour” in a large foot-populated area.
  7. Climb something. Get up in a tree, or on top of a roof, up a ski-lift tower. Don’t fall.

Have more suggestions? Comment them or tweet them.

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