These rules are meant to be broken

Recently during a breathwork meditation session, the revelation came to me that I had been living life by too many self-created and limiting rules. I realized that in my efforts to develop routines and build consistency with habits and rituals, I had also been limiting my results by telling myself things had to be done in a certain manner, in a certain place, or at a certain time. This really sank in as I observed how this thinking actually ended up limiting my ability to achieve my goals and do what I needed to do in my life and business. Instead of focusing on the what and taking action, I was focusing too much on the how.

In his book “The Code of The Extraordinary Mind,” the author Vishen Lakhiani outlines the concept of questioning the brules, bullshit rules, of life. Basically, this is the idea of not adopting and following outdated cultural norms of our society just because of tradition. He encourages everyone to question the, “unconscious, insidious limiting beliefs you may be holding.”

For instance, one of the rules that I had before the COVID-19 lockdown was that I needed to go to the gym and follow certain workout routines in order to build muscle and stay in shape. While I always knew that I could work out at home or on the go, I always struggled with being consistent because I had created the rule that I needed to go to the gym. Now, after working out at home or outdoors for the past year I have rewritten that rule to be able to stay fit and achieve my goals anywhere. I have not been back to the gym in more than a year and have no plans to return anytime soon.

Another rule I followed earlier in my life was that I needed to be in my office or set up at a desk on my laptop with binaural beats playing and coffee in hand in order to be most productive. Now, I am at a stage in life where I have rewritten that rule to be able to turn on my focus and be productive in any environment at any time. I take a few minutes to do a peak state priming exercise, activate my focus and concentration muscles, then get done whatever work needs to be done. In fact right now as I write this, I am utilizing voice-to-text on my phone while standing on top of a mountain in Los Padres National Forest overlooking the Pacific Ocean near Santa Barbara, California. (Hence the picture above I snapped just prior to composing this). I have rewritten this rule to allow me to accomplish my work while doing the things I love, being outdoors, hiking, and exploring. And recently, I realized that I had fallen back into following that old ruleset and so I did what any intelligent, self aware individual would do, I challenged those rules and began rewriting them immediately.

Many companies have rewritten their rules of what it takes for their workforce to accomplish the company objectives. Previously, most companies required employees to commute to the office and many did not allow remote work. After the pandemic lockdown, everyone was forced to go remote or go out of business. And many did go out of business. Yet those that not only survived but thrived were the ones that immediately challenged their rules and shifted to remote when the need arose. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of innovation. The challenge is, to remain aware of the rules we are creating that hold us back and once discovered, challenge those rules immediately.

Here in the United States, we are blessed with the freedom to choose whatever rules we want to subscribe to and follow. In fact, we have so much freedom sometimes we imprison ourselves with the rules we create.

It is well known that living life by a certain set of principles which includes some rules can be a very powerful thing. However, the key here is to keep aware of when the rules we are creating and living by become something that restricts us and prevents us from being our best. And this is a skill that is learned, like most, through doing. Trial and error is a great way to get started. This is what I’ve come to understand life is really about, knowing thyself and structuring life for what works best for where you are on your path while still having fun and enjoying the journey. Remember, fall in love with the process and the results will come.

My question to you is: what rules are you creating and living life by that could be holding you back?

Once you have awareness and total clarity of this answer, ask yourself: what actions can I take today to challenge these old rules and explore new possibilities? 

The key here is to build consistency with good habits and routines and follow certain rules that serve us while remaining aware of when rules become limiting and no longer serve us.

So, go ahead and leave a comment to let me know where you are living life by certain rules you have created that could be preventing you from achieving your goals? And if you’re a real go-getter, be sure to include what you’re doing now to address it.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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