Freedom Newsletter

The newsletter archive of the digital nomad revolution.

[AONC] Before You Follow the Rules, Question the Rules

2016-12-06 19:53:31

The Art of Non-Conformity


Welcome back! I hope you’ve been well.

In the last message, I told you a story about jumping off a bridge.
KEY POINT: You don't have to jump off someone else's bridge. You have the choice, the ability, and the power to decide for yourself.
There's Almost Always Another Way
So since you have the power to choose, how will you apply this power?
Here’s a suggestion: start asking a lot of questions everywhere you go, especially when you come across a rule or social expectation.
When you encounter a rule, ask questions like:
  • Why does this rule exist?
  • Who made this rule?
  • Who benefits from people following this rule?
  • What are the consequences of breaking this rule?
Now, this doesn’t meant that all rules are fundamentally bad. We need traffic lights to prevent car crashes, and escalators usually travel in one direction for a good reason.

Still, a lot of rules exist for no reason at all except to enrich the person who made the rule, or because "this is how it’s always been done.” When someone gives you the “just because” answer, you know you’ve found a rule that’s worth questioning further.

Questioning the rules helps you think.

Asking questions is surprisingly uncommon. In the words of Sue Grafton:
“Thinking is hard work, which is why you don't see many people doing it.”
And when you start thinking for yourself, a really great thing happens: you begin to see how much is possible.
The point is, questioning the rules helps you see possibilities that you may otherwise miss. Next, you can start setting your own rules, based on your own goals and preferences.
It may not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.

Yours in the revolution,

P.S. Everything I write is meant to be very practical. In the next two messages, we’ll pick up the pace and jump straight to Life, Work, and Travel—the three themes of my blog.
P.P.S. I found this photo a while back and really liked it (right-click to save):

I promise you something: you won't ever hear "you can't do it" from me.
I'll challenge you to take on a big goal, pursue an epic quest, and generally make the world a better place—but all of those things will happen when you set out to question the rules and prove people wrong.
The journey may feel solitary at times, but you're not alone.