On giving yourself freedom

I’m a stickler for the rules. Always have been, probably always will be. I just like them. I like to have clear boundaries so I know how to avoid overstepping.

But for the past little while, I’ve been thinking about whether or not certain self-imposed rules are holding me back. Maybe I’m getting in my own way. Maybe all these unnecessary goals and rules and guidelines are causing me more harm than good.

I do believe that having purpose and discipline is important. But sometimes we just make stuff more complicated than it needs to be and it sucks the fun out of it.

For example, I’m an avid reader. But, I’m also super competitive and I love stats and quantitatively measuring my progress on things. So I decided that I had to read at least 25 books this year. This doesn’t sound like that much but in reality it is and university has been so wildly busy and my will to read has been so awfully low that I am now about 7 books behind. Oops. But then also. So what? When I thought about it, I realised that I love to read because I learn new things and it gives me a way to escape everyday life. I just like to get lost in the story. So maybe adding all these layers and rules and numbers is what’s keeping me from reading in the first place. It’s just getting in the way instead of making things better.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes some rules aren’t real – they’re just things we add into our lives to give us a false sense of control over certain things because everything feels messy and chaotic.

I’m starting to think more and more about which of my habits and “rules” are actually helping me and which are just stressing me out for literally no reason and making me tired and bored.

So if you needed a sign to evaluate which things you do because they add value to your life and which things you do just because you feel like you have to, this is it.

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