“I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”
-Robert A. Heinlein
We are continuously swamped in a quagmire of red tape, regulations, societal norms, and expectations. While some standards and laws are beneficial to society and keep us from devolving into complete anarchy, many, MANY more serve no purpose than to control how you think, speak, and behave.
Express an idea of something you want to do and there WILL be someone who will tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t do that. I want you to train your mind to instinctively go to this question.
“Because it’s never been done before.”
“That’s not the way we do it around here.”
“It’s not normal.”
“It’s a waste of time.”
A barrage of inane excuses will instantly assail you without them providing any particularly compelling reasons. We are trapped within their own short-sighted heads and go out of their way to follow the unspoken rules of society, many times without even realizing it.
You must learn how to assume formlessness in all things. This is not an easy task and take mindful diligence. It’s is mentally exhausting and frustrating, but ultimately rewarding.
Learning the Rules
In order to effectively bend and break the rules for your benefit, you must first learn the rules and why they’ve been established. If you begin monkeying around with the system without knowing why it’s been put in place, you’re going to get burned. This will frustrate you, but learn the rules inside and out and apply them for a time before moving on.
You must fully understand every aspect of the rules before proper manipulation can begin.
Depending on the complexity of the situation and the risks involved, this can take months or even years. Lessons from the 48 Laws of Power such as not outshining the master, always saying less than necessary, keeping your hands clean, and not offending the wrong people, will keep you safe from any serious repercussions as you learn the game. Now is a good time to learn the ways of Machiavellism as you build the foundation for your future endeavors.
Lesson: Learning the rules sets the solid foundation for you to later bend and break them.
Bending the Rules
Once you have full comprehension of the rules and boundaries, you may begin flirting the line, looking for loopholes, unenforced mandates, and oversights. This requires some critical thinking on your part. Most people have a hammer and nail approach to problems. If their hammer can’t fix the problem, they aren’t quite sure what to do. You must train your mind to immediately begin asking questions. Dissect the problem into its key components and analyze each component in exhaustive detail.
Allow me to provide an example of someone bending the rules:
Years ago, I used to be heavily involved in Taekwondo tournaments. I competed all the way up to the national level for 8 years. In that time, I noticed a reoccurring trend at the seminars for people to become registered coaches. There would always be a few coaches who would ask seemingly pointless questions about the rules. They’d probe every aspect of the rules asking for clarification on any little point that was the slightest hint ambiguous.
What they were doing was finding the areas to bend the rules. Athletes aren’t allowed to grab their opponents in the clinch…but are they allowed to extend their arms past the other athlete in a clinch, effectively grabbing them without actually grabbing them? Turns out, yes they were allowed to do that.
Did it go against the spirit of the rule which was to keep athletes separate and fighting? Sure. But did it actually break the rules? Nope.
Breaking The Rules
Breaking the rules involves much more risk than bending the rules since you are, well, breaking the rules. While you can make a case for plausible deniability for bending the rules, there is no safety net when breaking the rules. Therefore, you must become adept in calculating the risks and rewards for your transgressions.
Breaking the rules doesn’t always mean doing something illegal. In fact, I would strongly advise against breaking any laws. I’m not paying for your legal fees so don’t get any funny ideas.
Rather, many times breaking the rules involves going against societal norms and expectations. An excellent example of this is the MGTOW movement. The common expectation for men is to grow up, get a stable job, get married and have kids, and settle down in the suburbs with a white picket fence. Many men are becoming increasingly disenfranchised with the system’s preference towards women (divorce rape, child custody, etc) and have chosen to opt out, going directly against what society expects of them.
Now this isn’t example isn’t intended to promote the MGTOW movement. There are plenty of issues within that community and men should think long and hard before making any decision like that. It’s JUST an example, gentlemen. Let’s stay focused.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to an analysis of risk vs. reward. As you move from learning the rules to all out breaking the rules, the amount of risk increases…
But so does the potential reward.
In order to make the rules work in your favor, you need to think 5 steps ahead in every direction. This is why I’m constantly teaching and preaching Machiavellism to you, my dear reader. If you haven’t already, read the 48 Laws of Power and begin seeing where those laws apply in your life. Also, be sure to pick up a copy of The Nine Laws. It’s a great addition to your arsenal for honing your mind.
After you begin to master the 48 Laws of Power, it becomes very tempting to start abusing them. I would urge you not to bend and break the rules in a malevolent manner as karma always has a funny way of biting you in the end.
Rather, use your ability to bend and break the rules to enrich your life and the lives of those close to you. Use it to succeed in business, relationships, and your own wellness.