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.

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.

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?

Feeling difficult feelings

When you feel low or sad about something it can be difficult to know what t do with the feeling. After all you don’t want to feel it, you’d much rather the sadness just left you alone.

But the thing with difficult feelings and feelings in general is that they don’t leave if you don’t allow yourself to feel them.

And then there is the question of how do you feel your feelings.

I don’t think there is a set answer of how but I’ll share what works for me.

Writing is incredibly therapeutic, I do it everyday.

Writing allows you to explore yourself freely and can be used as a tool to express how you feel. If you’re feeling hurt you can write about it. But you can also ask yourself questions like ‘why does this bother me?’ or ‘what would make me feel better right now?’ and then write until you have some kind of answer or at least until your mood has shifted.

Justifying rest

When you feel like you need to escape or getaway it often has nothing to do with your surroundings. Although you may find yourself wanting to book a trip or get a change of scenery in many cases it’s actually your mind that needs a rest.

You might think you need a holiday when in fact a couple of days dedicated to slowing down, quality sleep, nourishing food, soft music, a massage and a walk in nature will do you a world of good.

A major part of present day culture is working hard but it is often to our detriment. You trudge on even when you know you need a break and only stop when your body gives way.

You don’t need to reach breaking point to justify resting

As much as working hard and achieving goals is great, it shouldn’t be at the expense of your well-being.

Disappointment and desires

Expectations can be an interesting thing. They often span from our desires and wants or even our imagination.

But they will also leave you disappointed.

As much as it can be good to hold people to a standard, it’s also important to ensure that you aren’t creating this whole other person in your mind of who they should be.

For example, you might expect someone to make time for you because this is someone you enjoy hanging out with. But then you end up disappointed when they aren’t as keen to do what you want.

In a situation like that you need to assess where your expectations are coming from because you might find that what you’re expecting doesn’t even align with what this person was ever willing to offer.

You got so carried away with our own wants and desires that you were no longer willing to see things as they are.

As easy as possible

When it comes to the things we do in our day to day life, I think it’s important to make it as easy as possible.

If you want to read more, have a book on your bedside table instead of tighly slotted into your bookshelf.

If you want to spend more time with friends, make plans in advance instead of getting frustrated that they aren’t available with short notice.

If you want to drink more water, fill up a water bottle and keep it with you wherever you go instead of waiting until you’re thirsty.

A big part of changing your habits and the way you live your life comes from making a conscious effort not simply wishing you could be different.

Making a change vs Doing nothing

When making a difficult decision a good place to start is weighing up the pros and cons.

Take some time and really think about it.

Let’s say for example you were deciding whether or not move to a new city. The pros might be things like getting a fresh start, more opportunities and challenging yourself. The cons could be a lack of familiarity, time lost having to start over and leaving family/friends behind.

You could also ask yourself questions like:

Will the short-term advantage benefit me in the long-run?

I think if you regularly find yourself caught between making a change and doing nothing, you might just be afraid of trying something new or making a mistake.

In those cases it might actually be better to throw yourself into doing the the thing you’re unsure of because at least you’re giving yourself the opportunity to grow, develop and explore.

A convincing sales person

Anyone can make a living selling things if they’re good enough at driving sales.

It’s not about being an ‘influencer’, having the most followers or being the loudest.

Sometimes it’s about having something that people want and presenting it to them in a way where they value it enough to buy it.

Yet we somehow find a way to over complicate things. Perhaps by convincing ourselves that we’re not ready.

But if you have something you believe is worth selling, you don’t need to wait for a big audience to do it.

Start small, work your way up and focus on being good at what you do instead of on being popular.