We’re always told so many things as kids.
Rules to follow.
Ways to think.
After much thought, I’ve decided to never again follow many of the most “life rules.”
I recommend you do the same.
Not following those so-called “rules” will actually be much more beneficial to us. Here’s the list of 7:
“Don’t Act Brand New”
This one is super popular in Black households. It means not to act as though a person is “too good” for something that previously didn’t seem to be a problem to them.
I will act brand new! And I will do it with a whole lot of pride. Acting brand new is seen as a huge negative in the Black household, but I’m here to say that it’s actually a major plus. First off, acting brand new should take place once we actually have raised our personal standards in life.
This doesn’t mean to be more materialistic. Or arrogant.
It means to take more pride in how we show up in the world. Developing better habits and being more mindful of important things are excellent reasons to act brand new.
It signifies that we are done with our same old, same old selves. Now, we have turned over a new leaf, so our behavior and sensibilities will naturally adjust.
“The Grass Ain’t Greener on The Other Side”
Obviously, we’ve all heard this one. It cautions us not to go looking for something better, when what we have already is awesome enough. And if we think the “grass is greener,” it probably is just an illusion.
My question is, what if the damn grass is greener? What if life or, the thing or circumstance that we are favoring really is better than what we currently have? It’s entirely possible.
This one is another example of personal standards being elevated, which in turn would alter a person’s perspective of what’s good and what isn’t.
“Don’t Be Selfish”
I get what our parents meant when they said that, but as with everything, there’s another angle worth considering. Being selfish in general is a horrible practice. But being strategically selfish is a positive game changer.
Imagine trying to build our lives into something significant while people bother us with meaningless bullshit. That would suck, so the best way to deal with that is to not deal with it.
When we scrutinize our time effectively, we are said to be selfish by some. But we are actually being selfish for a worthy cause; to do important work which will increase our value in the marketplace and as human beings.
If we allow people to waste our time, we’ll end up not accomplishing much. This even applies to simple tasks such as laundry or cooking.
The most accomplished people are ruthless with their time, because we can’t get it back once it’s wasted. That’s a good selfish.
“Don’t Use People”
This one is self-explanatory. It’s never good to use anyone. It’s rude, cruel and insensitive.
Or is it?
I will never stop using people and I hope people never stop using me. Look, it’s a wonderful thing to be used. What’s a shitty thing is to be mis-used or ab-used. Being used means we’re worthy of that. We have value that causes our “users” to seek us out.
When my daughter asks me for advice, she’s using me — for knowledge, opinion and perspective. If someone asks you for your bank account number, then steals your money after you give it to them, they mis-used you.
Don’t give just anyone your bank information, though.
I love using people by asking them questions seeking knowledge or clarity. I love using people for inspiration. Hell, I’ve used Michael Jordan for entertainment a million times. He’s used me and tons of other people for attention.
See how that shit works?
“Change Your Ways”
For many years, this was the phrase that I heard most often. Obviously, I understood what was meant by that. My mom said this to me most of the time and she meant for me to change bad habits that I had.
But the way I am re-imagining the phrase is in its most literal sense.
Instead of “changing our ways,” how about we let our ways change us? For example, being so lazy and non-committal to so many important things over many years is changing me slowly but surely. I’m now a person who strives to start and maintain key habits, and so far, I am succeeding.
Because I had a major fail in the past by not realizing the super importance of maintaining momentum on very important goals, I let my past ways change me going forward.
“Stop Living in The Past”
I understand the toxicity of staying stuck on something from years gone by, but the past is a freakin’ gold mine of life lessons and guidance. The things that we were unable to understand or accomplish back then will provide a smarter roadmap going forward.
In that respect, I “live” in the past a lot. It’s like a cheat sheet for dealing with issues going on now and decisions to be made in the present. That’s a net positive.
“Stop Being Predictable”
People tell me all the time that I’m so predictable. They usually follow that up with telling me to “stop being predictable.”
It occurred to me that being predictable is actually one of the keys to achieving greatness. Each day, I am predictable in a positive way because I implement consistency in doing my important and intentional habits.
Monday through Friday, I prepare myself properly and show up at the gym to get my workout in. I also journal, pray, write, read, listen to audiobooks and research topics relevant to my vision and goals.
You could damn near set a clock to those aspects of myself because they are so predictable.
We are at our worst when we are unpredictable. That’s when we go about our day willy nilly and just do whatever comes our way. There’s no intention, no purpose and no focus.
You wanna achieve big time things?
You wanna get almost any important task done?
Finally, I am fully aware that the 7 life rules that I mentioned had somewhat different meanings when people used those expressions to me. But the point really is to re-imagine and develop a new, more beneficial way to look at things!
What life rules have you been told not to do in your early years? Let me know in the comments.