Time to break the rules!!

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There are a lot of rules to follow right now. If you’re a parent like me, and you have children in school, then you know all about the rules to follow when it comes to positive Covid cases in the class. If someone in your family gets a positive result, goodness… so many rules to follow.

I don’t know about you, this will depend on your culture and personal character, but for me – being a Swede and a high C on the DISC profile (super high D, but also very high C), I just LOVE rules. I used to. Until now. But not any more. I’ve had enough. Blerk… urgh… bah!!!

The feeling of having your freedom taken from you, not being able to do what you want, not even having the right to travel to see your family. Of course this triggers us, and I think it’s fair to say that we’re all starting to “feel it”. At the same time, some rules simply MUST be followed, or there will be severe, bad or even lethal consequenses.

Or like Dr. Ivan Misner said when I interviewed him, talking about why they have rules in BNI – Business Network International;

Hockey without rules would be boxing on ice!

So, what is all this about? What rules “should” we be breaking? Well… recently, I have experienced something in my personal life (a combination of many extreme things) that “helped” me understand something profound. If you’re a planner like me, and I think most of us are to some extent (if we don’t plan, there will be trouble in many areas), but if you’re a little bit of a planner extreme, like me, a hidden consequence that will come of that is that you will be living by a whole long list of rules. Not only will you live by them, but you will also be expecting others to live by and respect these rules. Oh, and by the way, I am talking about the unwritten rules. Not even you have a print-out of them. You know them in your head, in your heart, in your soul… but there is not a framed list of your set of rules to live by.

Big question: what happens when people break your rules?

Obvious answer: you get irritated, frustrated, angry, pissed, feel disrespected, and maybe worst of all… you get disappointed in people. This goes for you as a boss, you as a leader, you as a parent, you as a partner, you as a son or daughter, you as a sibling… you have rules in EVERY. SINGLE. RELATIONSHIP. YOU. HAVE!!! And nobody in these relationships has a print-out of your rules. I bet no one got a contract with your rules and actually signed that contract.

So, conclusion: every time someone breaks your (unwritten) rules, you get upset. That upset load of not so nice feelings, will be a waste of your energy, a waste of potentially good times, a waste of trust in a relationship, in short: WASTE.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, about how often we get “triggered” because things are not done “our (perfect) way”. And yes, how often we then bring a version of ourselves that is not at all The Best You. Not even close. We make ourselves miserable with our rules. Can breaking rules make us happier? I believe so, yes, our own rules that add no good value.

Drop some rules and increase your happiness!

Solution: Try to let go of some of your rules that don’t bring any real value. They are just “old rules” that you live by. Like how to hang the laundry. How the dishwasher has to be stacked. How to store the milk in the fridge. When the trash has to be taken out (when it’s full, OBVIOUSLY… but that rule seems to not exist in the rules of my children).

Every time we can make little tweaks in how we do life, and create small improvements, I think we should celebrate big! Break an old rule and go celebrate being happier!

Podcast episode 101 of Own It – The Confidence Podcast was all about breaking rules. I hope you get value from this!



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