Follow the Rules or Live Life Your Own Way?

Just because the norm is to finish college → land a good job → apply for a home loan or car loan → and pay that house for 25 years, doesn’t mean it’s the only way to live a good life.

Just because you didn’t go to college and you don’t have the genes of Elon Musk or Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t mean you can’t start a company or the career you’ve been dreaming of.

Just because some religious people insisted you to follow a certain life pattern and your parents want you to pursue a specific career and some companies ask for credentials to prove your worth doesn’t mean you don’t have a choice and you can’t become the person you want to be.

Here’s what I’ve noticed: These traditional rules, seriously, don’t work for everyone. These rules are broken — and they suck. They prevent us from reaching our highest potentials. They prevent us from chasing our wildest dreams, our deepest longings.

These rules, for some reasons, turn us into modern slaves.

Life is meant to be explored. It’s meant to be experimented using our curiosity, intuition, and wisdom. It’s meant to be filled with optimism, compassion, and love. And to be enjoyed with or without money.

The rules, on the other hand, are the opposite. They make us believe that we’re not safe, and we don’t have a choice but follow to live a comfortable and secure life.

The rules said we should follow, or else, we won’t get that house. The rules said we should do it, or else, we can’t send our kids to universities. These rules, you know…

They keep us inside little boxes. 

If I had followed my parents’ rules, I wouldn’t have the chance to blog, read a lot of books, and pursue my creative projects — music and writing.

If I had followed the company’s rules (the previous company I worked for), I wouldn’t be able to start freelance writing and eventually land a cool job.

If I had followed the society’s norm like buying expensive gadgets and apply for a home loan and car loan, and pay them for years, I wouldn’t be able to live a happy and stress-free life — no huge debt creeping underneath.

If I had followed all those traditional rules, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t be the person eager to follow curiosity, challenge beliefs, and experiment life.

Rules aren’t supposed to define us. We can create our own life and play the game our way (so long as we cause no harm). We may win or we may lose — it doesn’t matter. Because it’s always better to live life the way we want, than follow traditional rules that don’t really make us better human beings.

Hey, you have choice.

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Jade Panugan

Some interesting questions about life and human behavior: What if there's no money? Why we often feel the urge to prove that we're right and others are wrong? Why we react to things beyond our control? Why we hate? Why it's hard to be content? I don't have all the answers, do you? Let's chat.