DEFINE THE RULES
What happens when you define the rules?
Well, I’ll tell you.
You create a winnable game!
We have talked about the idea of a game and how it relates to life. Games and life have rules, barriers and objectives. Well, that’s all great and good, but you can’t possibly win the game unless you know the rules, right?
No matter how hard you try to play a new game, unless someone sits down and defines the rules, you will quickly lose interest or spend an hour losing to your sons. Oh wait….that’s me!
I digress. Sorry about that. Let’s get back to the game of life.
We can consider our jobs operate with rules, have objectives and barriers. The same can be said with our relationships. How about getting fit, staying healthy, being a student or teacher? And then there are rules, barriers and objectives for being a parent, being a child, being a spouse and a sibling. Honestly, can we do anything in life that’s worth doing that can’t be considered a game?
Even hanging out at the beach has
Rules - stay within the marked areas.
Barriers - getting your cooler, chair, and body through the deep sand.
Objectives - to relax, tan, read, or watch people.
Is it possible that many of the areas that we’re struggling with are difficult simply because we have never taken the time to define the rules?
Let’s take an example that most of us can relate to. Let’s say you’re a houseguest and here are the rules you are given.
A nice little card is left for you on your bed.
Enjoy your stay!
You’ve been given no indication of where anything is, what you have access to, what you do not have access to, how to work certain things and most importantly, how long you can stay. The rules have not been defined. Is this a comfortable situation for you? Are you going to enjoy your stay as much as if directions and rules had been provided?
What if a different note had been left for you, which read:
We’re so happy you have come to visit. I’ve left directions for the coffee maker on the counter. Extra blankets are in the closet. The keys to our Rolls Royce are hanging near the door. You can use it until Tuesday and then Mark will need it for work. Sorry, the walls are a bit thin, we’ll try to keep it down. We look forward to visiting in the mornings for breakfast for bagels or biscuits and connecting for dinner if you don’t have plans. If you can throw the sheets and towels on the floor on Friday when you leave, that’ll be great! So thrilled you’re here!
What do you get with this note?
Yep. Now you know what is expected and you are free to operate within those expectations.
Just think if you knew what your spouse, or partner, or boss, or friend really wanted from you. Wouldn't the chances of happiness, success, and fulfillment be much higher if not inevitable?
If your partner, or parent, or boss hasn’t defined the rules for you, then ask because when you do, everybody wins.
Chances are they haven’t read this article yet. : )
An important point not to be missed here is that both sides are equally responsible for defining the rules. The person giving the rules must ensure that the rules provided are defined in a way that others can find them understandable and can be followed. The person receiving the rules must insist that all questions are answered and all vagueness or uncertainty be cleared up.
As with all relationships, it takes two to tango.
So, go ahead and ask yourself...
"Is there vagueness in my life?"
"Is there an area that I'm just unsure of what is expected of me?"
Do I know what my parents want from me? What about my professors, or students, or boss, or children, or friends?
If not, then take the time to ask questions so you can decide for yourself whether you can or are willing to deliver that for them.
Truly, it frees everyone!
Again it takes two to tango. : )
Next week, we will go into specifics with regard to defining the rules on a deeper and more profound level. Today
just know that DEFINING THE RULES is a simple way to break open a barrier that may be stopping you from achieving the happiness, success, and fulfillment you want to achieve in your life!
Be sure to check out this week's Observation Deck, Everybody Likes Mollie.
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YOU ARE AN ARTIST!
With great love,