There are a few things I have learned about life in my 36 years. I have learned that love really does conquer all, that the days are long but the years are much too short, that giving is a gift that you give yourself, and that experiences are where the best memories are created! I have also learned that society likes to create rules and sometimes you need to break them!
Why I encourage my kids NOT to follow the rules
Wait! Don’t go away, hear me out. I totally get that rules are important and necessary when talking to the general population. I get that rules keep us safe too. However, following a rule just because it is there without thoughtful consideration can be a HUGE mistake. Sometimes you just need to plug your ears and listen to your heart instead! Case in point…
8 Rules I am Glad that I Broke
My entire adult life I have been breaking the rules. 1) I was pregnant before I was married (and at just 20 years old). 2) I walked away from a family business (my husband’s) to start my own. 3) I adopted a child of a different race and from another country even though people told me it was a huge mistake. 4) I sold one of my businesses to a publicly traded company who acquired my talent, only to quit and start a competing business when they decided to take the fundraising element out of the company (who does that? and… thank goodness for non-competes). 5) After learning my son’s birth mother was still alive I traveled back to Ethiopia with him to help establish a relationship + open adoption (even though it meant I might lose him). 6) I choose to share my life and my children’s’ lives publicly even though that opens us up to a lot of judgment. 7) After being diagnosed with a genetic condition I refused medication and instead hired a nutritionist to help me heal my body through food and exercise instead (and it’s working). 8) And, I am about to take in my uncle who suffers from depression even though I know it would be easier to place him in a home.
Most of the circumstances I listed above are things that society would tell us are wrong. But, the truth is all of the above has cumulatively brought me an immense amount of peace and joy in my life. SERIOUSLY, I have to pinch myself when I wake up each morning because it’s that good! And, it was my passion that led me here.
I have an incredible family, I get to travel the world with my kids AND GET PAID TO DO IT! I am surrounded by the most amazing and supportive friends (the good ones that will tell me when I am fucking up too). And, I have colleagues that inspire and motivate me on a daily basis- #OMAGInsiders #KiaFamily #DisneySMMC #TODAYParents I am talking about all of you!!
Which is why I teach my kids that it is more important to be an independent thinker, to listen to their own hearts and their unique passions to help drive them than it is to follow status quo. I teach them that rules are created for a reason but- sometimes those reasons don’t apply to our lives, sometimes they are outdated, and other times they are just flat out wrong!
Before you take off and toss your cares to the wind, let me heed a bit of advice. Following your heart isn’t for the weak. It requires you to carefully examine your shortcomings and be open to lots of criticism. I tell my children this as well.
It almost always does NOT turn out the way that you want it to in the beginning. You will fail, you will struggle, you will get to a point where you feel like giving up is the better option (and, sometimes it actually might be). But, life is not about the destination. It’s about the journey. It’s about showing up as your best present self while striving to get better.
Achieving your dreams and following the beat of your own drum will require you to step outside your comfort zone. It will force you to say hi to the stranger, take the leap when your legs are numb, it will make you humble and at points completely break you. But, reaching the other side surrounded by those you love and knowing you made it because YOU worked hard to achieve it, man there is no greater feeling.
And, that is why I teach my kids NOT to listen to the rules!
And, also why I encourage those of you who are holding onto your big dreams for another day, fearful you are undeserving, scared of what others will think to JUST TAKE THE LEAP!
I believe in you, you are meant for greatness and wonder. You are meant to be bold and to shine your bright light into our dark world. And, you are SO deserving of the biggest grandest dreams you can dream up.