Learn the rules and break them like an artist
Life has way too many rules. Yeah, we need the stop, go and don’t shoot your gun stuff, but I’m talking about the more nuanced; less black and white stuff. The rules that suggest what you’re supposed to do with your life, what type of person is best for a relationship and what career is right for you.
When I was a kid I went through a very enthusiastic tomboy phase. I cut my hair short, rejected pink dresses and raced off into the neighbourhood with my all boys; bike riding, fort building, cap gun firing gang of troublemakers. Don’t get me wrong, I never actually wanted to be a boy, they just seemed to be having way more fun than the girls! …and well I had a crush on a few of them too.
As a girl, it wasn’t always easy freewheelin’ with the boys though. People were confused. They didn’t understand why I wasn’t just okay with being a girl, dressing girly and doing what little girls do. “Why does she want to look like a boy, aren’t you worried?”, people would say to my parents—But my parents weren’t worried, they embraced it. “Nope. She can do what she wants”, my dad said. And I did.
Facing judgment and disapproval for our choices can be painful. But it is important to recognize that others’ judgment often has more to do with their own fears and insecurities than with your shortcomings. Going against the grain is about not taking a one-size-fits-all approach to happiness.
We are often told that life is, and should be a certain way because it’s been proven or it’s just the way things are supposed to be. But the path to success isn’t the same for everyone.
Zag is healthy
There’s nothing inherently wrong with leading a conventional lifestyle, but it’s not for everyone. The trouble comes when we find ourselves living lives that don’t align with who we are. When we do this we suffer psychologically—research suggests that authentic self-expression is a vital component of well-being. Pent up feelings and unexpressed thoughts block our progress as well as our mental peace. When we are not able to express ourselves, we feel suffocated.
There’s a very good reason why kids have the wildest dreams. It’s because their imagination has no limits and they are not yet bound by the restrictions of society. When you decide to follow your dreams, it stretches your boundaries and tests your will to face of adversity—but when you answer the call of adventure, it often leads to a deeper and more meaningful sense of well-being.
This is where the magic happens. When you trust your gut, follow your dreams, break the trend and live the life you’ve always wanted, you start to enter the zesty zone. You feel motivated and excited about pursuing your dreams and you’ll attract other people who have the same values and interests. The more you surround yourself with zesters (yeah I said that), the further you’ll go.
Trust your inner zest
The majority of people around you only want the best for you, but only you are responsible for your happiness and creating your own definition of success.
So as you gaze into the distance, shift your focus from the rules and boundaries to the intriguing and thrilling road less traveled. Find the courage to break away from the pack.