Where do they come from and why do we follow them?
It is an important question to ask because many people just follow rules blindly, without question, even if it compromises how they really want their life and work to be.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe there is a value in certain rules. Rules like it is not OK to kill someone or don’t text while you are driving. Great rules. Totally on board.
But it is the unwritten and self imposed rules we live our lives by that concern me. The rules that society or our parents or peers have decided are the “norm”.
When I challenge the rules that people feel are holding them back from having the life and work that they really want, I often get the response of “well that’s what everyone does” or “that is just the way it is”.
They have settled for the status quo. But just because everyone does it doesn’t make it right for you, your work or your relationships.
It used to be “normal” to put kids up the chimney but it didn’t make it right.
All rules are made up. Are you living by rules that fit your values? Are you living the life you want or living someone else’s life?
Here is my point:
Conformity is the killer of creativity
Conforming to rules set down by anyone other than yourself, based on your values and what is most important to you is stopping you from living and working on your own terms.
Blindly conforming is like getting on the train to mediocrity central.
So, I invite you to look at the rules you are running your life and work by. Ask questions such as:
- Is believing and operating within this rule helping me or hindering how I want things to be?
- What if this rule isn’t true?
- What new rule could I put in place that more closely matches my values?
- If I wasn’t buying into those rules what would I do differently?
So, here’s the challenge – start breaking all the rules (obviously not the ones that would mean breaking the law or are wise to follow!). Start creating your own rules and “norms” based on your values and what is most important to you.