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What Happened to Setting Your Own Rules?

The more you do something, the more you tend to learn about it and the better you get. And the more you learn about something, the more you’re able to inject your own style—your own rules—into it.

When you realize you know better than anyone else what’s best for you and start playing by your own rules in your life, your work, your relationships, the world opens up. What never seemed possible under someone else’s authority is now practically inevitable under your own.

Life is good.

Sometimes, though, you start to learn so much you turn yourself into the new authority. All of a sudden, the way you’ve found is best.

What happened to setting your own rules?

My girlfriend and I both run small businesses. And we both do it in very different ways. This works well, but sometimes we look at the way we work and get some ideas about the way things ought to be done. I love efficiency, so I’ll suggest she stop making certain things and just focus on the ones that sell best. She loves variety and thinks I ought to start selling Riskology.co coffee mugs and stationery.

Our opinions work well for ourselves, but they’re not so great when we try to apply them to each other.

If you believe that playing by your own rules is a good philosophy for your life, then it’s important to believe the same applies to others.

This is the double-edged sword of having a life under your own control. If you want others to give up their stake in how you run yours, then you have to give up your stake in how they run theirs.

Gaining control of your own world is a wonderful and liberating thing, but giving it up elsewhere doesn’t always feel as good. It feels risky; it feels uncomfortable. But this is the price you pay to have what you really want. It’s worth being consistent when it comes to your personal philosophy.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re too special. You’re certainly unique, but in the kind of way that everyone else is. When you discover you know a thing or two about something important to you, do what you can to help others take advantage of your knowledge, but don’t set the rules for how they have to use it.

Live and let live, as they say. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but when you allow yourself to truly believe people are unique and capable of making their own best decisions, then giving up control isn’t as hard as it seemed before.

Are you keeping your rules to yourself? Let us know in the comments.


Image by: REM