Knowing when to break the rules

There’s a well known phrase that says ‘Rules were made to be broken’.

In many cases I don’t agree, rules are put in place to create boundaries, keep us safe and so on.

But in some cases rules can cause us more harm than good, disadvantage the minority and are for the benefit of things we don’t support.

In those cases when it doesn’t feel right to comply, breaking the rules might be the right thing to do.

Rest, reset and refresh

If you go through a period of stress or anxiety, something that can work wonders is taking a break.

It might seem counter productive and you might feel like the better thing to do is pull yourself deeper into what ever has gotten you off balance.

But further exposing yourself to thing that isn’t making you feel good is probably not going to make you feel any better.

What you might need is to take a break.

In this day and age, in our go, go, go society it can be challenging to really take a break from your day to day life.

And so I think it’s important to figure out what helps you rest, reset and refresh your mind.

It could be a walk in nature where you’re away from buildings and cars but surrounded by greenery and wild flowers.

It could be a massage, something that forces you have to stay still and you have to put your phone away.

And once you’re done you’ll know that it worked when you can go back to thing that had you feeling stressed but you now feel calm and at peace.

The worst possible thing

What do you do when the worst possible thing happens.

And by worst possible thing I mean something unanticipated, something that you didn’t plan for that throws you off course.

The common and perhaps most easiest way to react is panic.

Like a sort of ‘Oh my goodness, what I am I gonna do, everything is going wrong, this has gotta be liek the worst possible thing, what am I gonna do now?’

Turns out the popular and easy reaction isn’t particularly helpful.

Instead my experience has taught me that the much more useful thing to is think. Go through the possible scenarios and come up with a solution. Once you’re able to remove some of uncertainty suddenly the worst possible thing isn’t so bad.

Granted you can’t control how things will turn out. However, what you can do is remind yourself that you are capable of overcoming the unexpected.

What do you want to be known for?

When Seth Godin answered this question he said ‘ I would like to be known by what the people who have learned from me have taught other people’.

I think this was said on an episode of Tim Bilyeus’ podcast, Impact Theory.

If you’re somebody that creates or puts stuff out there, I think it’s an important question to have regularly running through your mind.

Your answer will serve as a compass to help guide your decisions.

I often ponder on that question in relation to this blog and my answer is always about adding value and sharing something useful. And so I’m so I’m less likely to write about personal details in the day to day life because it doesn’t align with my answer.

Perhaps, it isn’t something you’ve considered much and maybe right now you can’t sum it up in 18 words. But it is definitely something worth thinking about.

With unlimited confidence…

That was the prompt in a self-help book I read around 6 or 7 years ago.

It was followed by questions like:

  • How would you behave?
  • How would your relationships change?
  • What would it allow you to do?

I think it’s a helpful set of words to get you thinking about how you might be limiting yourself.

As human beings we often fall into thinking that we have to wait until we’re confident to live our lives the way we want. But actually it’s the other way round.

You have to start living your life first and then the confidence will follow.

Useless criticism

If you have something bad to say about something but have nothing to say when it comes to how it could be better. I think that it’s a useless criticism.

It’s easy to be a critic or to complain about the way that something is but what’s the point if you can’t even offer a solution.

It’s far more useful and far more helpful to say ‘I don’t think this works very well but here’s what I think would work better…’, rather than just saying ‘That’s not a good idea’.

I think what a person says comes down to their intention to speaking up. Do you just enjoy complaining or do you want to try and find a way to make things better?

For those that refuse to listen

Some people will never truly hear you when you speak no matter how hard you try.

In those circumstances the solution is never to try harder.

You might think that the harder you try they’ll eventually come around and hear you out. But the thing is some people aren’t interested in being wrong.

Some people aren’t interested in hearing a perspective that contradicts their own.

And even if they realise that they were wrong and the information you shared had changed their mind, they’re more likely to dismiss that.

When a person is more interested in being  right than being open to new information, it might be a waste of time trying to get them to listen.

Daily blogging for the reader

I think it’s fair to say that more often than not, a daily blog is for the writer.

The reason behind this is almost nobody reads a daily blog every single day.

There are occasional readers and regular readers but it’s rare to find someone who doesn’t miss a post.

Posting so often allows me to not put so much pressure on each thing I share, it also forces me to challenge myself.

I have posts that have never been read, perhaps the title wasn’t interesting enough or maybe you just weren’t interested. But from a totally different perspective, I posted another day and kept up my writing practice.

That matters to me more than trying to please the reader.

As soon as possible

In you life you might find that there are people who will create a false sense of urgency. They’ll give you something to do and give you a deadline like ‘as soon as possible’.

So, you put your blinders on because it’s urgent and you don’t want to contribute to something being finished late.

But when you let the other person know you’re done and they appear nonchalant, that’s when you realise the urgency was fake.

Perhaps they couldn’t trust you’d do it within a suitable time without the extra pressure.

Whatever the case it’s important to not allow yourself to get swept up in it all.

As soon as possible might really mean by the end of the day, not right now.

Learning to open up

One of the biggest reasons to open up is that it helps you realise that you aren’t alone.

So often we live our lives as if we are the only one who has faced a difficulty, felt lonely, been rejected, felt lost or was unhappy with the way they looked. We end up holding it in because we think we’re alone or perhaps we don’t want to burden others with our troubles.

I’ve taught myself to open up more. It was a mix of practice, knowing who to trust and letting go of fear.

And so when I encourage you to do the same, it’s not because I find it easy. It’s because I’ve done it and it worked wonders.