I was naughty last night. I know it was a work-night and I needed to get up early this morning but for some reason I felt like a glass of wine (dark red pinot noir) and a film was the best way to end the day.
As I opened the bottle and those fruity, berry flavours filled my nose I felt my body relax and was really looking forward to just sitting down and being lazy. As I poured the ruby red pinot and put on the the DVD I couldn’t help but grin at the thought how I was braking my own rules.
A study done a while back shows that people actually believe that those who break rules tend to have more power, drive and are more likely to get things done. The reasoning behind this idea is that the more powerful someone is the fewer rules they need to keep. For instance someone who sits down at a table in a cafe without waiting to be seated, buts his feet up on the seat next to him and brusquely orders a coffee is seen as more powerful as someone who politely waits their turn.
As teenagers it’s important to break rules even if it drives parents up the walls and the phrase “I can’t believe she/he did that, she/he knows better!” seems to be always on the tips of their tongues. Without this naughty behaviour adolescence can’t feel independent, test their own capabilities and learn how to deal with consequences. It even seems to be that risk taking/rule breaking is hardwired into their brains for a certain period of time allowing their minds to learn how far they can push themselves and why some rules are necessary.
As a writer and designer I know only too well that the rules you learn on how to write a ‘good’ article or design a ‘pretty’ page have to broken every now and then to change the ‘good’ article into a ‘brilliant’ one and the ‘pretty’ page into a ‘stunning’ one. In art Picasso broke the rules of perception and created Cubism, Van Gogh decided to NOT paint what he saw but how he felt and Expressionism was born and Warhol focused on the mundane not the special in his Pop Art revolution. This shows that while you need rules as guide lines it is only when you step outside the boundaries that you can create something new and unique.
But sometimes breaking rules is just fun, it gives you that little tingle of delight that you are doing something you shouldn’t and it makes you feel alive. Simple things like running barefoot over a lawn you are not meant to be stepping on, or stealing the toiletries off a hotel-cart or maybe swiping the flake out of someone elses 99er and popping it into your mouth before they can take it back are breaking rules, but not really harming anyone. And the little rush you get makes your heart pump, adrenalin flow and your mind think outside that ominous box. And sometimes all you need is a glass of wine on a work-night.
So today I will make sure to break a few rules, have fun and maybe seem powerful to the rest of the world.