'Fire-starters' is the nickname for those who spearhead change :
they don't just start the fire, they choose when and where to ignite it.
They start the fire with a purpose.
Start by breaking your own rules
Sometimes we are victims of our own rules.
When American women relocate to wealthier cities, they adopt the fashion preferences to please the locals. For example, the heel height of women's shoes becomes higher.
So, if a woman moves from a lower-status location to New York City, there is an 86 percent chance that she will ditch the flats for heels.
The pressure to conform is self-imposed.
This tension between psychological conformity and consistency for women, as demonstrated on this research, is a perfect example of how rules limit your behaviors.
However, that limitation is created by ourselves.
As science shows, we have internalized judgments and preferences of other people, and then integrate them into our own memories.
When we try to disagree with social norms, our brains turns on an alarm.
Following rules is one thing.
Sticking to the norms to be accepted by others, is a different matter.
That's why asking for permission will do you no good.
Standing out requires to work harder - you have to conquer the fear of the unknown.
Breaking the the rules is easier said than done.
The thrill of breaking rules
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
Breaking rules is like cheating.
Behavioral scientists found a correlation between dishonesty and creativity.
People with the most creative jobs or mindsets are more likely to break the rules.
"The ability of people to behave dishonestly might be bounded by their ability to cheat and, at the same time, feel they are moral individuals," the authors explain.
The more creative one is, the easier is to tell the story in a way that justifies breaking the rules.
There's an emotional upside too - it makes us feel good about ourselves.
People who break the rules feel smarter than the rest. Maybe because they are not conforming. They also feel liberated - getting rid of rules allows their brains to think freely and let their creatives juices flow without limitations.
You don't need permission to live how you want.
Sometimes, you have to the break the rules to make your world better.
A simple method to breaking the rules
"By all means break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately and well."
Pablo Picasso wasn't just a talented artist; he was one of the most prolific that ever existed.
Most people associate the Spanish painter with cubism - an art movement he created.
However, Picasso experienced with several styles:
surrealism, neoclassical, African and Synthetic, to name a few.
What few people know is that Picasso mastered traditional drawing and painting before he explored modern styles. Master it before you break it - that's what you can learn from the genius minds.
If you refuse to conform, do it with a method.
Try this simple equation for breaking the rules.
OUTCOME > RULE
Before breaking evaluate if the outcome is worth it. Simply put, will the outcome justify the consequences of breaking the rules?
Choose to start a fire when the outcome is worth it.
VALUES > OUTCOME
Each person has his/her own personal values. I'm not telling you what's right or wrong. Before deciding to break the rules, reflect if the decision will go against your values.
Choose to stick to your values over any ideal outcome.
OTHERS > YOU
Breaking rules has consequences on others. I'm not talking about people getting upset or not liking your behaviors.
Sometimes, the aftermath of your behaviors can hurt others. Like the example of the cigarette, the man could light it up regardless of the no-smoking sign, but what about others?
Choose not hurting others over your personal benefit.