Tuesday 18 February 2014

Rules and the problem of naked joggers

I'm not and have never been a great one for 'following the rules'. The label for this in 'non-conformist'.

Some rules are good, even for non-conformists like me. Laws for instance. They are (mainly) good rules, worked out, tried and tested, over a long period of time (so-called Common Law). Some social rules or norms, like wearing your clothes in public make sense too. Though why anyone would want take off any layers in the British climate beats me (it's not just the cold, it's the midges).
I was delivering training near Bristol recently when a delegate said she saw some naked joggers (male) while she was on her way to work. It turned out many others had seen them too. Now I like my personal freedoms but is naked jogging ever OK? I don't think so. It was cold and I'm sure there wasn't much to see(!) but that's not the point. And if they caused a fatal accident, wouldn't that be manslaughter?
But there are also those unwritten rules related to other people's expectations of us that can cause problems. The word which comes to mind is 'should'. Should-rules are psychologically dangerous, potentially leading to unhappiness, anxiety and stress. Examples include: "We should go to my in-laws this Christmas because we went to my parents' last year" and "I should master PowerPoint transitions so I can deliver the sales presentation in the slick way my boss does".

A good thing is to think about and develop your own set of rules to live and work by. Simple stuff like:

Treat all people well
Live within your means
Don't try to control everything
Present in the way that suits you
Travel light
Take opportunities to connect
Pay attention to what's going on now
See your friends regularly

What would your rules be?