Giving the Middle Finger to Expectations and “Rules”

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When life presents you with two undesirable doors moving forward, pick up a sledgehammer and build yourself a third door.

People will tell you that’s not an option. There are only two choices. Two outcomes. And you have to choose one. Those are the rules. You can’t change the game.
I call Bullshit.
When someone tells you that you can’t go another way, say “Watch me.”
There’s always another way. But it takes courage to break the rules, and determination and faith in yourself to change the game.

The most courageous thing you can do is what other people tell you not to do. To give the middle finger to expectations. To be extraordinary in an ordinary world.

People fear the unexpected. The road less traveled. Going beyond the safety net.
But it’s the people who dare to dive head first into the unknown, discover a new path, and step outside of the boundaries that open themselves up to the limitless possibilities in the world.

There are infinite possibilities for how to change the game, but here are 7 ways to get you started:

  1. Travel solo.
  2. Wake up before 6AM.
  3. Launch a website or blog.
  4. Learn and practice new skills daily.
  5. Write an eBook.
  6. Meditate and reflect.
  7. Join (and contribute regularly) to an inspirational community

Let’s Expand.

Travel solo.
People will tell you it’s dangerous. Lonely. Reckless. Selfish. But the truth is, traveling solo is the smartest decision you will ever make. You will be challenged, pushed outside of your comfort zone, faced with fear, and incredibly vulnerable, but you will surprise yourself with your ability to push through, handle it all, and ultimately come to enjoy the unexpected.
Wake up before 6AM.
Most people grudgingly wake up to the sound of their alarm at 6am and hit snooze 5 times before dragging themselves out of bed. They start their morning dreading the day ahead and already counting down to cocktail hour. Instead of waking up at the last possible second, change your attitude and wake up before you have to, with a sense of purpose and excitement for the day ahead. Set a daily goal, and use the extra time from waking up early to accomplish it first thing in the morning. This will give your entire a day a new sense of accomplishment and productivity.
Launch a blog.
Launching a website or blog has never been easier, even for the non-tech savvy. And it isn’t just for those interested in starting an online business or becoming a professional writer. A blog is great self-learning tool. It gives you an opportunity to reflect on what you already know, learn new skills, and put those new skills into action. It holds you accountable on your journey of growth, and helps connect you with like-minded people. Starting your own blog or website is like the golden ticket of portfolios to show off your strengths.
Learn new skills.
Personal growth is a lifelong journey. There are always new skills to learn and ways to improve you abilities, your thinking, and your way of doing things. Between blogs, ebooks, podcasts, video and social media, there is an endless supply of new information being shared with the world every single day. Choose the sources that work best for you, spend some time each day reading/listening/or watching something valuable that will challenge you and teach you something new, and put it into practice. You may not feel like a “natural” at it, but that’s how you know you’re learning and growing from the experience!
Write an eBook.
You’re not a writer? Who cares. Don’t feel like an expert on anything? Become one. Just like starting a blog, anyone can publish an eBook these days too. It may not become a bestseller, but what better way to learn the ins and outs of something that interests you than to research the hell out of it, and reflect on everything you’re learning? Yes, there may already be a million books written on the subject, but none of them are written from your point-of-view. The only person who has direct access to your mind, and the unique combination of interests, values, beliefs, and views that influences your perception of things, is you. It may not feel like you have any new, groundbreaking views to share on the subject, but you are the only person who sees the world through your eyes, so take advantage of the opportunity to share your stance on things.
Meditate and reflect.
Meditation is not just for yogis or Buddhists. And there’s no right or wrong way to do it. You don’t have to sit cross-legged with your index finger touching your thumb and gently resting on your knees while you sit in a dark room with a candle burning, gently humming “ohmmmmm”. It’s about finding somewhere or something that is free of distraction to clear your mind, rid yourself of negativity and stress, and find inner peace and happiness. One example could be at the beach, focusing on the waves rolling onto the shore, listening to the seagulls flying overhead, feeling the warmth of the sun and ocean breeze on your skin. The key is to focus only on what you’re experiencing in that exact moment, and pushing everything else out of your mind. Once your mind is free and you feel at peace, slowly let your thoughts come back in, but control them to only think about positive things, such as your goals, what you’re grateful for, or a valuable lesson you recently learned.
Join a community.
Finding a tribe of like-minded people who lift you up and support you during your journey of growth is invaluable. Most people don’t realize the effect the people around them have on their attitudes, views, and overall happiness. Nothing will drag you down quicker than constantly being surrounded by negative, unmotivated people. We don’t always have a choice in the people that surround us, when it comes to family and coworkers for example, but by getting actively involved in an inspirational community, you’ll be able to balance out the impact those negative influences are having on your life. That could be an online community like this one, a Faceboook group, a monthly mastermind group in your city, a recreational sports team or fitness class, etc.

Action Steps

 Write down the answer to each of the questions below in your journal.
  1. What is a realistic place you could plan a solo trip to (even if it’s just a weekend trip) in the next 3 months? (Remember: the point is to experience something new and outside of your comfort zone.)
  2. Set a goal to accomplish every morning for the next 3 days. Wake up before 6 am and get it done before you do anything else. 
  3. Brainstorm 5 ideas for a blog you could start. (Hint: What are you interests or hobbies? What do you want to learn more about? What do you enjoy reading or watching?
  4. Write down one new skill you want to learn or improve this week, and find 3 sources that can help you learn more about it (a blog article, book, TED talk, podcast, Twitter account, etc.) 
  5. What are 3 things you have considerable knowledge about or do on a regular basis that you could write a short eBook on? 
  6. What relaxes you? What is something you can do/a place you can go on a daily basis to decompress and clear your head? 
  7. Make a list of 3 types of communities or people who would inspire you. Do a search for groups, classes, meetups, or teams in your local area, or join an online community. 

Share any inspirational resources or people you come across by commenting below!

Bre Fowler

Hi, I'm Bre - the founder of The Positive Change Co! In early 2015, I left my familiar life in Seattle, WA behind to travel the world and become a digital nomad. Traveling as a LIFESTYLE completely transformed me. It was during my first big trip abroad in SE Asia and Australia that I found my passion for healthy living, addiction for personal growth, and a profound sense of purpose in the world. The Positive Change Co. is about more than just eating healthy and taking care of your body, it's about becoming the best possible version of yourself so that you can offer your best self to others and live a more meaningful life.

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