But over time, I’ve realized that some rules are there because they’re necessary–they really do protect you and the people around you. Fake rules, on the other hand, are attempts made by others to control you because what you’re doing makes them uncomfortable or someone is trying to make sense of a chaotic world.
98% of the rules we live by fall into the fake rule category. And quite honestly, hold you back from being a better person or being better at what you do.
So I’m committed to being a breaker of fake rules.
So how do you know a real rule from a fake rule?
Know who you’re with. Seemingly, some fake rules become real rules because we explicitly or not so explicitly sign a contract that gives someone or something authority over us. For those that we explicitly agree to, just do your homework and know what the rules are. In the other ones that have unspoken rules and are more ambiguous like personal relationships, just be honest and keep talking until the cows come home.
Stop asking permission and do it. If you’re an adult, and you’re still asking permission to do what’s right for you, you gotta stop that. Because that’s the worst kind of fake rule following that I’ve ever seen. If you’re afraid of pissing people off and can’t think of specific people, then you’re just letting your own fear hold you back. If you’re afraid of taking action because you know who it’ll piss off, have an honest conversation with them about what you’re going to do and ask them for their opinion. Any reasonable person isn’t going to be pissed at you if they’re part of the solution. If they’re pissed after you’ve included them, says something about them and not you. And if someone ends up pissed at you about what you’ve done after you’ve done it, talk to them and understand why. Apologize accordingly.
Trust your gut. It’s not telling you that you had tacos last night. People don’t trust their gut enough. And when I say gut, I mean really paying attention to what’s going on around you and then making a decision about whether it’s the right thing for you or not. I can say that when I listen to my gut, things always go so much better than they do when I don’t. Don’t take my word for it though. Try it.
If it’s in a blog like this one, don’t let what it says discourage you if your gut is telling you otherwise. Some people follow what’s posted in blogs as if it’s law. But let’s be honest, most blogs, including this one, are full of opinions that aren’t really backed by anything except someone’s personal experience and intuition. Most things that inspire, motivate, and change us are. For example, look at The Oatmeal, The Onion, and Fuck Yeah! Ryan Gosling. Or look at anything that defines success in your mind. If you talk to the people who have achieved them, I’m pretty sure they’ve broken lots of fake rules to get where they are. So look at those people and examples as mentors, and follow their lead. Stop listening to posts like this one, and go for it! 🙂