Intelligent Misbehaving


7 Rules You Were Born To Break” by Rick Lewis.  Check it out.

No PhD in sociology for this professional meditator-performer-presenter. Lewis earned his credentials by travelling with a circus entourage in the U.S.A. and busking on city streets around the world. When he counsels us to defy the unwritten commandment to ‘Be Normal’ or ‘Avoid Mistakes’ it’s because misbehaving has been his key to coming out of hiding.

I speak from personal knowledge. Years ago he taught me how to juggle, and in return I helped him roll his dimes and quarters and sort the five-dollar bills from the tens and the occasional twenty and once there was even a C-note! (Well, how many people have you seen riding a 12-foot unicycle along a pier?)

Don’t think for a moment that Lewis didn’t have to struggle to emerge from hiding prior to each performance. We’re all in hiding. Aren’t we? No? Then no need to read this dispatch. As for me, I often find myself behind a membrane of fear. Certain things I hesitate to do out of a fear of being exposed. Such as public speaking. Lewis’ 7 Rules has been hugely helpful to me in understanding how illusory that fear barrier really is.

Lewis isn’t your average motivational guru. His compelling little book teaches through stories of his own performance calamities and triumphs. He describes how—in order to touch an audience—he has been repeatedly forced to challenge the social norms that underpin conventional behaviour. Rules such as “Be Independent” and “Stay Comfortable” and “Stay in Control” have all been sacrificed in his attempt to liberate his spirit.

Lewis is impressed by the tenacity of the human spirit, which, though buried deeply, is still alive and ready and waiting for the opportunity to triumph over the “everyday ideas that stop us from living the lives we dream of.”

I’m wondering if maybe the spirit isn’t so much buried as neglected. Who needs spirit while traveling the path of least resistance? But what about the person struggling to make a difference in the world? They soon learn that conventional strategies take them only so far. Real creativity doesn’t thrive in a well-ruled psyche, but rather in a state of dissolution. Creativity loves that dissipative threshold where things are always just about to fall apart. It’s a scary place because there are no rules.

7 Rules You Were Born To Break” shows us how to keep our balance when we’re pushing the envelope (such as riding a 12-foot unicycle ).

“This is what I offer,” says Lewis, “a street-level, practically oriented, example-driven guide…based on the necessity of rule breaking and the wisdom of Intelligent Misbehaviour.”

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  1. says

    Seems the conventions require us to be conventional, and if we aren’t meeting at the other folk’s convention then we’re left out on the street to protest and raise hell. There’s a price to pay, for sure. As in forfeiting the respect of your peers. (Who may be peering down their nose.) As in forfeiting your salary. As in doubting yourself. But, still, with so much wrong with the conventions, what’s wrong with bulling ahead on your own?

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