Start with the truth, not the rules

Are you the kind of person who doesn’t like being told how to live your life or what you should think, or say or do— just because of your age, or because you don’t have much job experience or because somebody thinks you have too much?

Then this is the perfect time for you; innovation and creativity are everywhere. But there is also risk, and some people might prefer that you played it safe.

Don’t be dragged down by someone else’s idea of what you ought to be or what you ought to do. Beware of any advice with the word, ‘ought’ in it!  Because that ‘advice’ is really just a thinly disguised rule telling you how to live your life.

Instead, think about what it is that you lose yourself in. What is it that if I said, “Don’t worry about money, don’t worry about paying the bills, the rent, the mortgage, anything,” you would bound out of bed so excited that you had another day to do?

That’s where the juice is, that’s what will drive you, that’s what will feed you creatively and eventually, financially. Because it’s you, it’s authentic, it’s true.

If you give me the choice, ever, between the truth and those rules, I’m going to choose truth every time. Sure, sometimes the rules make sense because they are based on truth: don’t run into the street, you’ll get hit by a car. Yeah, makes sense.

Then there are rules about what you are supposed to do or say based on where you are in your life, or because that’s how we’ve always done it, or because your ideas are too ‘different.’ Those rules maintain the status quo and suffocate creativity.

Always start with the truth, not the rules. Same with your career, same with this moment.

Walk away from anybody who ever tells you what you should think, or say, or do— if it isn’t true to you. Push back against that falsehood. Be a brat and rip the rug out from under it.

What gets you going? What gets you passionate? If it speaks to you, chances are it will speak to people like you. And if it does, you’ve hit the sweet spot between your passion and the marketplace. Run with that.

c 2013 Kathy Barthel

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