ARE YOU PLAYING BY THE RULES?
“Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.” -Henry David Thoreau
Have you noticed? Society likes to make rules and laws. We like to make rules for everything. We have:
-Rules of etiquette and behavior
-Rules for how to wash your hands
-Rules to train your dogs
-Rules of fashion
-Rules at the playground
-Sports have rules
-Copy writing rules
-Internet marketing rules
-Rules of business
-Rules of eating
-Rules for exercising
-And we certainly have a whole host of rules about wealth and money!
Enough said, right? We have rules for everything and money is certainly no exception.
Step outside and look around and you’ll see rules everywhere you turn. They often look like this:
- Do Not Enter
- No Not Feed The Animals
- No Swimming
- No Left Turn
- Do Not Pass
Notice how most of the rules/laws we have tell us what not to do? They’re limiting.
That’s not all bad. I mean if we didn’t have some traffic rules imagine the chaos. People can’t really seem to manage a roundabout as it is, take away the rules and the *&% would hit the fan. And if you have children then rules are required to maintain your sanity and teach cause and effect.
Rules provide structure. They help us cope with change. They teach and they keep us safe.
Rules also limit us. They prevent us from doing what’s right for us at that moment. They can also make us feel repressed, stifled and even resentful.
Not all of us handle rules the same way.
Are you a conformist or a rebel?
There are two basic reactions to ‘rules’. There are those people who conform. They say please and thank you. They drive the speed limit. They get eight hours of sleep each night. They exercise. They put subjects in their email subject line and they’re never late for appointments.
They take their vitamins. They save their money. They work hard. They don’t run at the pool and they always wipe down the exercise equipment after they use it. In short, they play by the rules. They conform.
What happens to the conformist?
That’s not so bad really. Unless they’re waiting for some type of reward. A pat on the back or an acknowledgement for all their patience and good deeds. If that reward doesn’t come then they can turn. They can become…
The Rebel. The rebel shuns rules. Forget about saving money, we only live once, right? They take risks, break the rules and laugh at the conformists. They take vacations too often. They leave work early. They start businesses and forget to reply in a timely manner to email messages – in fact they may not reply at all.
The downside…the rebel, unless they’re incredibly charming, can be seen as an outcast. They can be shunned because they don’t follow the rules. They can end up in jail because despite the myth, some rules are not meant to be broken.
Now these are extremes of course but most of us land somewhere closer to one end of the spectrum than the other. Maybe we disobey traffic laws from time to time or we fudge and tell a lie but for the most part we’re conformists. Or perhaps you attend a meeting or two and occasionally say please or thank you but for the most part honestly believe that rules are meant to be broken.
Perhaps there’s a third type of person…
The type of person who makes their own rules. This is particularly interesting when it comes to the rules of wealth.
So what are the rules of wealth?
Depends on who you’re speaking to. Ask your parents and they may say the rules are:
Save 10% of every paycheck
Live within your means
Give 10% to charity annually.
Good rules, right?
Ask your neighbour and they may say:
Money is meant to be spent – you only live once
Money is the root of all evil
You need a scam to get rich
Money doesn’t grow on trees
The rich get richer…
Still others may say:
You need to be lucky to have money
You must save every penny you make and live below your means because you never know…(guess they could then use the present state of the stock market to prove their point)
Money is for the rich
You can attract wealth
And so on…
Most of these “rules” are myths.
What are the REAL rules about wealth?
If you ask anyone who has real wealth, they’re probably say that wealth, real wealth stems from:
And an element of risk taking or faith
Oddly enough, or perhaps not so oddly, these attributes are the foundation for Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich written about 70 years ago.
“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success”
Funny that in a world of rules the ones that generate true wealth are the rules we make for ourselves. For Desire, Imagination, Planning, Persistence, and our Risk taking ability are all personal characteristics. They’re not strategic investment strategies. They’re not provided by your financial advisor. They’re not given only to those in the ‘know.’
They are however available for anyone and everyone. You have the capability to make your own rules for wealth. When you do, you don’t have to conform to the rules others make and in fact you shouldn’t. You also don’t have to rebel and fear the repercussions. Instead, you make and live by your own rules as they follow and relate directly to:
Your Specialized knowledge
Your risk taking and/or faith
The rules of wealth you see, are entirely up to you.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The UNreasonable man adapts the world to himself. Therfore, ALL progress depends on the UNreasonable man."