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Sucky Life Rules That You Must Break Today (Part Two)


Hi, lovely!

Are you living your life according to what other people say and do?

Or, are you on a quest to define your own life rules?

I'm going to help you figure that out! Right now on the Rule Breaker's Club, I'm creating a 3-part series all about RULES. Bad ones. Ones that you should break.

If you want to participate, I suggest that you grab your thinking cap and a notepad. You'll want to jot down actionable things that you can do to break these rules today

Last week, we talked about the first three sucky life rules to throw out the proverbial window. You can view that post here

Got it?

Without further adieu... here are rules 4-6: 


Bad Life Rule #4: Do What's Comfortable

Why it sucks: Oh lordy lord, my dear. Don't even get me started on comfort zones. 

I'm going to give you a nice run-down as to why you should jump out of your cozy zone of comfort ASAP. Pay attention:

  1. Think back to the most exhilarating experience of your life. That time you travelled to Europe. Went on that crazy date. Went skinny dipping. Gave that speech. Was it in your comfort zone? Hell no! The most memorable experiences never are.
  2. Think back on a time when you learned a lot. It could have been in college. At summer camp. In China. When you drove a stick-shift for the first time. Holy hell. That's pretty uncomfortable.
  3. Testing your comfort zone actually makes it bigger. It's like stretching out silly puddy. You can pull in lots of different directions, and it won't break!
  4. It takes work. Because it's uncomfortable, you have to make a conscious decision to jump when your stomach is in knots. It's not fun, but as you know, doing so is so vital to growth that you have to make an effort to do it every day.


Write down 3 things that you do every day. Now, think of 3 ways to reinvigorate these mundane tasks.


1. Wake up at 7:30 and take a shower


  • Wake up at 6:00 and go for a run.
  • Wake up at 7:00 and spend 30min writing.
  • Wake up at 8:00 and take a shower the night before.


2. Eat a turkey sandwich on the couch


  • Eat the turkey sandwich on a park bench.
  • Invite a friend/co-worker out for lunch.
  • Make a smoothie and drink it on stroll through the park.


3. Spend mindless time on Facebook


  • Only go to the computer with a specific task in mind (write them down on a post-it so you don't forget).
  • Declare a 30-day Facebook detox on your status update!
  • Go to the library. Check out a novel. Read it. 



Bad Life Rule #5: Avoid Embarrassment, Mistakes + Failure.


Why it sucks: Success is measured in failures. If you want to be successful, you better be willing to fall flat on your face before you arrive.

 Unfortunately, most of us learn to avoid mistakes by age 10. It's pretty clear from the red marks all over your spelling test that trying + failing = bad.

But instead, I'd like you to think back to the first week you spent at your last job. It was nerve-wracking... and you totally screwed up that client's request on the first go. You didn't know how to use the copy machine. You effed up the protocol and asked way too many questions.

In short, you made a lot of mistakes. 

But if you were a smart employee, you knew that these mistakes were the inevitable side effects of starting a new job. You stuck it through, and you learned from each one.



Bad Life Rule #6: You Need a ____________ to Be Happy

Why it sucks: Research shows that humans have a pesky little habit: we are never satisfied.

When you were six, you wanted a Barbie doll. When you were 16 you wanted a car. Last year, you wanted that fancy blender. And this year, a new apartment... the list goes on and on.

The great news: You don't need anything external to be happy!

Happiness is totally a choice, dollface. Suffering is a choice, too. Now, before you get all up in arms about that one, hear me out:

Sometimes we just don't have the energy to feel all light and fluffy. Sometimes bad things happen (hello! A tornado hit my house this year). You get a day or two to cry about it out of fatigue. Then you need to catch some zzz's and make a conscious choice to live with a little more zest!


Do what you have to do TODAY to break these rules. It may require taking a risk or writing a gratitude list.

Then, stay tuned for part three, the final edition of the "Sucky Life Rules That You Must Break Today" series.   


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Reader Comments (3)

I definitely support your advice on stepping out of your comfort zone. Just one point though - it may be hard work, but it can be a lot of fun. Personally I've found that I'm actually much happier and feel like I'm really living my life when I'm pushing my boundaries. This even applies when I'm doing mundane things like opening a bank account in a new city or signing up for a martial arts class. Just the fact that I'm doing something new makes me feel like I'm improving. I like Robert Heinlein's "specialization is for insects" in this regard.

As for mistakes, it's definitely good to not let your mistakes hold you back, but at the same time one has to be careful -- just because mistakes can be a learning experience doesn't mean that making mistakes are ok. You should definitely try to do things right from the get go, just don't give up if you fail a few times.

June 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShrutarshi Basu

#6 is hitting me square in my frustration! What a great reminder!

July 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHalley

Wonderful insights Courtney. There appears to be some "zen" in your essays. Appreciate hearing your insights as they confirm notions I have picked up elsewhere. I have become aware especially that how I feel about the things that happen is life is a choice. And despair is simply the flip side of joy. And, getting all verklempt about stuff is not worth it because all is impermanence. I remember doing "guard duty" in boot camp watching the lights of Charleston S.C across the water and wondering why I was guarding a pier at 3 o'clock in the morning. It all passes and now that moment is but a memory.

Thank you for the reminder to be present.

Be well.
Btw, Ann Arbor is alive and well.

January 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchristian

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