A few weeks ago, I was on a Navy base in Florida, delivering my first program for a military audience. The meeting planner was very hesitant about me encouraging them to break rules, especially since they had just spent several (long, boring, excruciating) days being briefed on new procedures, policies, and regulations.
I still told them to break rules.
Of course, I am not calling for anarchy here. I understand the need for rules, especially in the military, where if you break a rule, someone could die.
The problem is that too often, we assign the same gravity to all the rules in our life, even though most of them don’t exist and the penalty for breaking them is non-existent.
Although it may feel like it, asking your boss for a raise — or that friendly person in line ahead of you at Starbucks for a date — is not a life-or-death proposition. Who cares if they say no? You are already NOT making more money or having dinner with that person, so in effect, nothing’s changed.
Except something has changed.
You were brave. Your comfort zone grew. You cut regret off at the pass.
And that’s if they said no. How cool is it if they say…yes?
Swap sides of the bed with your partner tonight. Watch a movie from a fort in your living room. Get that purple streak in your hair. Play hooky tomorrow and do something fun. Initiate a big project at work.
Sure, it might not work out how you’d like, but that doesn’t mean nothing good will come of it.
Remember, no one is going to die from you eating dessert first.