5 Good Reasons to Break Rules
Whenever I say that we should break more rules, people are quick to assume I want to induce anarchy. I don’t. I want to induce something else: personal responsibility, accountability… actually thinking about what to do next.
Rules create predictability. A lot of what we have created in the world relies on this predictability. But as that technology advances and the degree of unpredictability in life decreases, so do the opportunities to change and grow.
Not all rules protect us from harm or from the ill intentions of others. A lot of rules protect those who have everything and prevent others from accessing what they have or know. You’ll find that if you want to grow in life, you’re going to have to get to breaking.
Always following the rules will result in stagnant thinking. Here are 5 negative side effects of excessive rule following... really Good Reasons to Break Rules !
Rules encourage habitual behaviour. In other words, actions and thoughts that are not reflective of conscious, rational thought in the moment, but that are rather automated responses to stimulus. Essentially, rules can encourage a form of unconscious repetition and a total lack of awareness of options.
If you are following the rules, the responsibility for your actions and thoughts lies somewhere else. You cannot be blamed or praised. You are just ‘following order.’ If you want purpose, direction and fulfilment in life, you need to do the opposite: take responsibility, make your own decisions, fly your own flag.’
Assume the pattern is set
The weirdest thing about rules is that they are made with the assumption that the situation they govern is static, unchanging. But very little in our world is. This is one of the biggest reasons for challenging rules and breaking them: they may have been great 10 years ago but they simply do not apply now.
Rules are there as a sort of interior policeman to govern behaviour. It is a way of controlling behaviour to guarantee a predetermined outcome. If you are making rules, you are trying to control people. Sometimes, people need to be protected from themselves, but a lot of the time, you’ve got to ask yourself, who is being protected here?
If you’re busy making sure everyone does what YOU want the WAY you want, you leave no room for individual expression, satisfaction, minor improvements and innovation.
No Personal fulfilment
When all you do is follow the rules, nothing is ever ‘yours’ in any sense, it’s just another widget of one kind or another, that you got by following the instructions. Ultimately, this can be demotivating and soul-sapping!
Of course, there are plenty of sensible rules that we all agree to follow: health and safety, the social contract. But if you look at it, you’ll see that even these evolve over time. It’s good to question the givens in our world…
You don’t always have to act on that questioning, but the examination will often reveal areas for improvement and redundant actions that can be eliminated to increase efficiency.
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