When we were very young and probably too young to understand some of the rules and principles of life, our parents could not give us rules so all they did was to caution us and in most cases they only said, ‘stop that!’ When we began to grow older they probably added, ‘you don’t do that!’ As we entered the teenage years and really one of the most adventurous seasons of our lives they began to say, ‘that’s not acceptable!’ When I look back today and I remember parents saying that’s not acceptable I feel like asking, ‘to who?’
We all grew up learning to live by the rules of others and in most cases the children or the young people who are referred to as well behaved are the ones who seem to have mastered the expected rules and definitions of the society and are living by them. When you question the rules you are seen as a threat and a rebel then they begin to think about what to do with you.
Many of us grew with the rules we were given and like the circus elephant that may have been free from a chain but still thinks is bound, we are still living by the rules that were only meant to guide us in some seasons but not our entire life. You know about some of those bicycles that have supporting wheels at the back for young people who are trying to maintain a balance when riding, don’t you? Those wheels are only useful so long as the rider is trying to gain balance but the moment the child has learnt how to ride on his or her own then the supporting wheels become a burden!
We had to get most of the rules we got while growing, the rules in churches and the office rules for us to get started and understand the standard that is expected of us. As soon as we have gotten used to doing things by the expected standard then it becomes a burden to throw rules in our face. That’s the challenge with most of us. We have gotten so many rules and now it’s really hard to break out of those rules because in the first place we were only given rules but were never told when to live without the rules.
Up until you will find people who are limited in life because they are living only by rules that should help them get up and we also define our standard based on what someone else said or thinks. Because we respect someone does not automatically mean we have to live strictly by their rules and have our standards set by their perception.
It’s only soldiers that act strictly by instructions and never have to deviate at any point from the instruction because they were raised to follow only given instruction and mostly have to wait for the next one. We are sometimes disappointed with ourselves not because we are not doing well in life but because we have adopted the standards of others and we feel really bad when we are not meeting up with the standards we have adopted from others.
We cannot continue to live by the rules and definitions of other people for our lives. We have to define our standards choosing from a variety of success stories that are relevant to where we are going and live life based on our fulfillment only. If you don’t and you continue to live by the rules of others, you will spend all your productive years trying to fit into what someone else said the when you grow up, you will realize you could have set your own standards. Set your rules today and live by them. Define your own success and go after it. Ignore the limits of other and pursue your dreams.
© Fola Daniel Adelesi
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