It looks like to succeed in today’s world, there are many rules you have to comply with. ‘Do this’, ‘don’t do that’, ‘avoid this’ and so on. So how do stay ahead of the game? How do you stay afloat in the sea of so many rules? How do you even know which rules to go by and which rule to discard?
I think the first thing you have to do is to determine where you are going. What is your purpose? When you don’t have a purpose, anything goes. There’s no parameter to use to filter the unnecessary garbage that life will throw at you. When you have a conviction of where you are going, the opinions of people won’t sway you easily. You’re able to take more risks because your eyes are fixed on the prize; that is your ultimate goal.
The next thing is to define how you want to get there. There are many ways to achieve something. There’s the long route and the short route and there is also the legal and the illegal route. Clearly the rules that apply in the legal route don’t apply in the illegal route. Determining the path you want to take to achieve your goal sets things in perspective. I always suggest the path of hard work and integrity. It’s never worth it to go the illegal route and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
Once you determine the path you want to take, you need to establish how long you want to take to get there. Setting a time frame makes your purpose more real. There are rules that apply in the long term while others are more short term. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that you can achieve any great thing overnight. Be mindful of rules or things that promise overnight success; they are most likely a scam. Every good thing requires time, whether it is building a successful organisation or losing weight. Your determination to stick with the length of time required will increase the likelihood of success and what will happen is that you will begin to set your own rules.
Finally and most importantly, be yourself. In our society today where ‘packaging’ is now the norm, originality has become a necessity if you want to remain afloat. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Not only will you fail at being the Joneses, it’s very likely that you will live an insignificant life. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. I’m in support of people who make their own rules. When I’m doing something and people tell me I can’t do it because of a particular rule, my response usually is ‘who made that rule?’ Most times they don’t even know. So why are we conforming with rules that we don’t know their origin? I’m not talking about general principles of life here like seed time and harvest. Many of these can be traced to the Bible itself. I’m referring to rules that society suddenly came up with or worse, rules made up by the so called ‘cool kids’.
Make up your mind not to drown in the world of other people’s expectations. You have to chart your own course. It’s only when you do this that you can begin on the path of leaving a lasting legacy. Perhaps, the rules you set for yourselves will be rules that others will follow in generations to come.
Photo Credit – JesperBylund