What Rules do you Self Impose?

I came across the Top 10 Most Ridiculous Laws from Around the World and it got me thinking about rules in general. Are rules devised to control the behaviour of each individual? What are the incentives to comply with the rules?

There are legal rules that we have to follow otherwise we are breaking the law and there are concrete consequences for that. Then there are general societal laws that are far more subjective that the legal rules. Last and certainly not least, there are the self imposed rules. In our lives, who makes the rules? If we self impose certain rules, how do we reward or punish ourselves for good or bad behaviour?

As children we had rules in place set out by our parents and teachers. There were clear boundaries of what was considered to be acceptable behaviour. We quickly learnt that if we did not behave as expected, there were consequences, both at home and at school. As we grow up there are more rules and codes of conduct in the workplace that we abide by. We are told what to do and what is expected. This delineation makes it easier to understand and decide whether to follow the rules or break them.

What about the rules we impose on ourselves? Are they the same as those we impose on others? There is the golden rule that states “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Let’s think about that in relation to values. What are your top 6 core values? Are these reflected in all the areas of your life? How do you ensure you are living by these values?

Imagine that one of your core values is honesty. How many times have you promised yourself to do (or not do) something and then act in exactly the opposite way? Are you being honest and true to yourself? What if someone promised to do something for you and didn’t? How would you react? How do you increase the likelihood of sticking to your own rules if there are no penalties or reprimands if you don’t?

Freedom of choice is a powerful tool. I will not suggest a set of rules to live your life by as that would be both constraining and patronising. The challenge is to get you to think about your core values and how they are being expressed in the different areas of your life. Some of your current rules may be serving you well whilst others may prevent you from moving forward and realising your full potential. After all, cookie cutters are for cookies, not for you. Break the mould. Be your own person.

What rules do you self impose that serve you well? What rules do you feel may be holding you back?

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Written by Ana Antunes da Silva.

Image provided by Flickr user Chloester.

5 Responses to “What Rules do you Self Impose?”

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    • Ana says:

      Hi Eduardo. Glad you like the site! Please feel free to sign up via RSS feed or email to keep yourself updated with new blog posts. If there are topics you would like to read about on here, just let me know.
      Thanks, Ana

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