Almost from the cradle, people are conditioned to strive not for what they actually want, but rather for whatever their local culture believes is possible for them.
What kind of self-replicating, culturally limiting crap is that?
Just because the people who have come before you lived their lives by a certain set of rules has absolutely nothing to do with what YOU are capable of.
The “rules” that any given society lives by are simply manifestations of the beliefs that are held by the members of that society. When the members change their beliefs, the entire society will then change its beliefs.
The only cultural “norms” are whatever any given culture believes those norms to be.
- If you believe that you have to get a good education and then land a good job in order to ensure your success, you will do whatever it takes to do exactly that. Forget the fact that many of today’s millionaires never even finished high school, let alone got a college education.
- If you believe that only “good” or “lucky” people are allowed to have success, then your entire life will revolve around proving that to be true. If you don’t think of yourself as one of those people, does that mean that you are doomed to poverty and despair? Why is it then, that there is also a very common belief that people who have money are BAD people?
- If you believe that you have to practice a certain religion in order ensure your success and happiness, you’ll jump through hoops to prove yourself (or your congregation) right. Forget the fact that poor, unhealthy, and unhappy people stay that way despite praying to their God every single day, or that people who are commonly considered “sinners” are living a life of abundance and opulence, while praying to no one.
- If self-sacrifice is a key cornerstone of your values, you’ll spend your entire life sacrificing your own desires, while constantly giving to others. Why is it then, that the most successful people in the world followed their passions, and that is why they became so successful?
The truth of the matter is that people who ignore the rules are the people who achieve the most success and fulfillment.
Yes, these people still work within certain “guidelines,” and they map a general route based on expected societal reactions. They also consider their potential success based on the beliefs of the rest of the world, while they themselves break out of the mold in order to be successful.
- They recognize and respect authority insofar as it suits their needs.
- They engage in certain “standard” practices as long as those practices are on their route to success.
- They “play along” only in ways that allow them to still be ultimately in control of the game.
However, in the end, they deliver – via word or action – one solid message:
I am going to do this MY way, and I neither need nor desire your approval, nor do I care about how things have been done in the past.
Does that make them outcasts?
Does that cause them to be persecuted?
Does that cause them to be ridiculed?
In many cases, yes. Successful people become successful because they rock the boat, and society in general does not like boat rockers.
Ask yourself this, however:
Would you rather live to be 100 years old, and be remembered for nothing more than living to be 100, or would you rather live to only be 50, but have left a legacy that would teach and empower millions of people long after you were gone?
Personally, I choose the legacy.
But, hey – that’s just me. I’m a boat rocker.
What about you?