break the rulesI just got off the phone with a childhood friend. We were catching up on life and reminiscing about the trouble that we caused when we were younger. Towards the end of the conversation, she said to me, “You know, my life is so boring now. What have I become?” As we hung up, I started to think about how much I had learned by breaking so many rules both as a child and even now as an adult. Here are some of the lessons I learned:

Push Your Limits: Who we are will determine our actions and what we end up getting out of life. There is no way to really know what we’re capable of, until we go out and try. Self-imposed boundaries keep things that are harmful to us or that we are fearful of away. However, how will we know if we should truly be fearful unless we open ourselves up and push the limits of our comfort zones. Even small experiences with new things and circumstances can broaden our concept of what is acceptable within our lives.

Well-behaved women seldom make history  -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Define Your Own Rules: There is absolutely no right way to do something. Just because a way works for one individual doesn’t mean it will work for another. Define your own rules as to who you want to be and how to live your life. In the end, the only one holding you accountability is you.

Know the Consequences: Everything we do as a consequence. Good or bad. Whether you decide to break the rules or live within your comfort zone, know that every action has some implication. So, act accordingly.

What situation have you been in where you decided to go against the grain and break the rules? How did it benefit you? Do you feel that you are a different person by doing so? Share your story. We would love to hear from you.

Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Europe

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One Response

  1. Tom

    Excellent piece, Ja-Naé! (Certainly in keeping with your own daring background of incredible achievements!)

    I came to a crossroads in life – a broke, jobless, divorced, virtually homeless shy guy without real direction in my life. Though I had never been outside the protective womb of North America, nor ridden a motorbike before – and though most people thought I was crazy to even attempt this – I successfully completed a two-year journey around the world by motorscooter (Melawend), promoting friendship and communication. It became a profound education in the world and the self

    Breaking the rules by getting way out of my remote-controlled comfort zone like that led to incredible growth as a writer, photographer, and simply as a person. Ewan McGregor gave me a great blurb for the book I wrote about the journey – IN THE LONG RUN: A Hopeful World Odyssey – said Ewan:

    “My two trips by bike were amazing and life changing but short compared to Tom’s two-year traveling extravaganza!
    One Man, One Scooter, One Hell of a Ride!”

    Thank you for this blog, Ja-Naé — it reminds me to keep breaking the rules!

    Cheers to you, Ja-Naé!


    “The Scooter Crusader”
    Author of IN THE LONG RUN: A Hopeful World Odyssey
    – a former law clerk’s two-year friendship & discovery journey around the world on motorscooter Melawend.
    “One Man, One Scooter, One Hell of a Ride!” – Ewan McGregor: actor, author, motorcyclist, humanitarian
    “After reading it, the words ‘He’s a modern Marco Polo’ came to mind.” – Douglas Kirkland: photographer to the stars
    “…more than a little reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings.” – British expat in the MSNBC Travel Forum
    “I’ve never been so moved in my life!” – Murray Andrews: Golden-Poet Award-winner
    Press Room:
    A Poem of the Odyssey by Murray Andrews:

    Tom on FACEBOOK:
    NEW! Musical video of the odyssey:


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