In my late teens/early 20s, my mom shared her amazement with me. She commented that I followed the rules – and did what I was supposed to do – when no one else was able to follow through or able to act on their own advice. She was in awe, amazement, fascination, and confusion as to how I could do it.
I was a rule-follower. I wanted everyone to be happy. I wanted God’s approval. So I followed the rules. I am no longer a strict rule-follower because I see its advantages and its detriments. I appreciate looking at issues from as many angles as possible. Rules typically don’t allow for that. They’re a good starting point, but every successful person became successful by thinking – and acting – “outside the box.”
As soon as I became a rule breaker, I had to fend for myself. I was in, then I was out. My mom was alive, then dead, and I was immediately on my own. I became a rule-breaker.
As a rule-follower and literalist, I believed and followed the directions and instructions of what I was told at home and from the pulpit. Ironically, the ideas I followed related to obtaining an education and career are typically no longer practiced because of its sheer inconvenience and impossibility.
After my mom died, I abandoned the rules and sought an education followed by a career. I’m still in the process of the final attainment of both. I’ve also found ways to “think ouside the box.” I had become – and still am – a rule-breaker.
I’m very grateful for exposure to “the rules.” However, I’m also grateful for being a persistent rule-breaker when it comes to pursuing an education and career. I’ll earn and gain both eventually. In the meantime, it has been an intense – yet fulfilling – pursuit attained by breaking the rules.