Tuesday, March 31, 2009


"Every rule can be challenged, except this one."

There's so many boxes out there. Some are necessary. Some just get in the way. I am amazed/amused/astounded by the boxes we put around ourselves.

We have boxes about what we will/won’t eat, the music we will/won’t listen to, the jobs we will/won’t aspire to, the people we will/won’t find interesting, etc etc etc.

Recently, I challenged myself - I also have a list of things that define me because I will/won’t do them. Some are carefully chosen and some are just from habit or discomfort. I broke a few of my own ‘rules’ yesterday (and suffered through the ‘what have I done?’ moments). I realized this morning that no one had even noticed the changes and the only real impact is that my world-view is a bit broader.

The thing about rules is you have to ask yourself “What’s the worst thing that could happen if I do/don’t do X?” You then state the feared outcome and ask “What will I do if that should happen?” Amazingly, potential outcomes are less terrifying when we take the time to think through our options in advance. Even more amazingly, friends will wonder what took you so long to make the leap in the first place.

A sample conversation with myself often goes something like:
“What is the worst thing that could happen if I talk to a stranger?”
“They’ll laugh at me”
“So then?”
“So then I’d tell them to stuff themselves.”
“What’s the next worst thing.”
“They’ll reject me with a cutting comment.”
“So then?”
“So then I’d tell them it was obvious I’d wasted my valuable time.”
and so on.

I’m always a little shocked at how easy it is to do reverse-psychology on oneself…

So I’ve challenged my habits a bit this week.
Terrified? a little.
Unboxed? getting there.

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