In all of life, in every pursuit or endeavor we engage in, there are rules. Rules for business. Rules for love. Rules for managing our money and our relationships.
Rules. Rules. Rules.
As young people, we are taught to follow them. Actually more than that, to worship them with blind obedience. It is, after all, said to be our responsibility as members in good standing of the society of responsible citizens.
But then something unexpected and diametrically opposite to this dogma happens to us as we move along the road of life. We start to see that those who follow the rules wind up as claims adjusters at State Farm or clerks at the local post office. They follow the rules, get their gold stars and fade away on a modest pension, leaving nary a trace where a life once lived.
Then there are the rule breakers and their stories are a 180 degrees from those who do as convention dictates. When Bob Dylan was told that the rules of folk music forbade electric anything, he plugged in, pissed off the whiner purists and became one of the five greatest musicians in history. A career of breaking one rule after another.
When Sam Walton was advised that the retailing rules laughed at the idea of huge stores in one horse towns, he made his Walmart’s even bigger, changed the way America shops and amassed one of the greatest fortunes of all time. The rule worshipers wagged their fingers; Sam flashed them his.
Almost every time I have been advised by experts, by professors, by the all knowing guardians of the rules, I have been led down a blind alley to a dead-end – sealed by a barbed wire fence.
Life is a journey of discovery. Listen to no one. Go where your instincts guide you. We only have one pass at this earth. Do we really want to spend it painting by the numbers?
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