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What Ferris Bueller and Tommy Pickles Can Teach Us About Breaking Life’s Rules

Ferris Bueller: “Hey, Cameron. You realize if we played by the rules right now we’d be in gym?”

The Importance of Breaking Rules in Life.

I think Ferris Bueller had it right. In this “man’s struggle to take it easy” he showed us how much fun it can be to break a few rules and have a little fun. I give him a lot of credit for inspiring some of the crap I pulled. When I was a senior in high school I came into gym one day with bandages all over my foot, cruches, and a fake doctors note I created using Photoshop saying I needed to be excused from gym for the final two marking periods due to “scarring” on my foot… Signed Dr. Richard Green. PhD. Of course it worked! And I got to leave school 2 periods early every day. Not bad, right? Sometimes its worth it to pull a few strings and break a few rules to get out of the gym classes of life.

Of course there are benefits to living our lives by playing by the rules – the security of a regular salary with timed raises and bonuses, vacations in areas that are safe, well-organized and well-tamed, … okay I just can’t think of that many.

On the other hand, there are benefits to not living our lives by the book and disregarding some of the rules – taking the risk of an irregular salary by starting your own business, going on vacations to less explored, crazy destinations or even moving abroad long-term, ordering that chocolate moose after a filling dinner because you damn well feel like it (just don’t make it a routine!), staying up all night hanging out with friends or your love even though you know you have work in the morning.

BEING A BADASS AGAINST THE STATUS QUO

Ferris: The question isn’t “what are we going to do,” the question is “what aren’t we going to do?”

Personally, I’ve always been someone that resists doing things by the book and playing by the rules. I’ve never done too well with authority and I’ve always questioned the norms and status-quo of typical living in a western society.

I think it all started when I was a kid and I thought Tommy Pickles from Rugrats was the coolest little bad-ass baby around. He was always convincing Chukie, Phil, and Lil to go off on crazy adventures that required some sort of rule breaking. I’m sure my friends are both thankful and regretful of some of the crazy stupid adventures I convinced them to join me on. 😉

(I’d also like to add here that Nickelodeon is not at all what it used to be, and the days of Rugrats, Doug, All That, Hey Arnold, and Salute Your Shorts were WAY better than the stupid crap that’s out now. Period.)

And I know there are a lot of other Tommy Pickles and Ferris Buelers out there like me. There is a little bit of these guys in all of us I think. There’s something in us that feels the need to question the rules and norms. To find out for ourselves if something works or doesn’t work. To put ourselves out there and test our limits even though sometimes its just easier to do what the crowd is doing.

And that is why we must ask ourselves not “what are we going to do”, but “what aren’t we going to do?”

By asking ourselves “what aren’t we going to do” it leaves an infinite room of possibility. There are options galore – things that both have and haven’t been done. It makes the impossible seem possible.

On the other hand, by asking ourselves “what are we going to do” it leaves us with limited time, a fixed set of options, and just doesn’t sound as cool or exciting.

If Tommy Pickles hadn’t asked himself “what aren’t we going to do today” he probably would have the typical life of a baby… lots of crying, crawling, and playing with regular baby toys. But No. This little guy set out on a mission… He didn’t crawl to his destinations, but ran, sort of. He didn’t try to do it all on his own, but lead, inspired, and got a little help from his friends. He didn’t play with the status-quo baby toys, but set out on his own adventures to find out what would be fun to play with and do.

Yes, I know, using Tommy Pickles as an example is a bit of a stretch, but cumon, you know you thought he was cool back in the day – the Ferris Bueler of babies. There are few of us that are as adventurous as Tommy Pickles was..and he was only 1 year old. 😉

BEING A REIGHTEOUS DUDE OR CHICK

Grace: (Principal Rooney’s Secretary who gets Pencils stuck in her hair) “Oh, he’s very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads – they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.”

See, the people out there that listen to their guts, take some risk, and are open to all opportunities and species whether they be dirty sluts or dweebies are the righteous dudes and chicks.

In order to be a righteous dude or chick like Tommy Pickles and Ferris Bueler you can’t simply live life by the rules. It’s funny the expression “Living your life by the Book” even exists because THERE IS NO BOOK on the right way to live your life! You know what this means? THERE ARE NO RULES SET IN STONE! Aside from the ones the government set in stone (which of course some you absolutely should not break- like it is against the law in New York to throw a ball at someone’s head for fun and a person may not walk around on Sundays with an ice-cream cone in his/her pocket…WHAT?) But aside from these laws, you can do whatever you damn well please.

SUMMING IT UP WITH A CALL TO ACTION

Today’s call to action can be summed up into this:

GO BREAK SOME OF YOURS AND SOME OF THE STATUS QUO’S FREAKING RULES TODAY!!!!

Ask yourself, “What AREN’T you going to do?” And ask it in terms of not just Today, but also Tomorow, this Week, this Month, this Year, this LIFETIME.

And as you begin to answer this question, do something to make it happen. Write it down, make a call, schedule it, and take some action. Whether it’s something more simple like giving yourself a day off from work to go take over a city with your shinanigans or something crazier like buying a one-way ticket to that place you’ve always wanted to go – just go and do something about it to get that momentum going!

And if you start to doubt yourself and the book of rules begins to feel heavy, remember what our man with the plan Bueller told us “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

About Lauren Rains

Hi my name is Lauren Rains. I write about the human experience. Through thick and thin, I’m dedicated to growth, adventure, integrity, and love. The Mad To Live is based on my pursuits, experiments, research, and lessons of challenge and triumph in all areas of life, including being entrepreneur, a writer, a philosopher, a traveler, a teacher, a student, a creative, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a significant other, a stranger and the list goes on. At the end of the day, I believe human beings are here for two reasons: 1.) to love one another with total acceptance, and 2.) to see what we’re made of as we create the possibilities for an abundant life for ourselves and for others. No more bullshit, let's just enjoy our lives.

Share with me what you're getting into that matters to you. It could be stepping into entrepreneurial pursuits, embarking on a journey of the self, making a crazy life change, or even if you're totally stuck. I want to connect with, support, collaborate with, and learn from as many people as possible through this blog (that means you!) Click the *Share* link in the main menu and let's connect by filling out the form.

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  • Amen, Lauren. Love the article. Not familiar with Rugrats, but loved Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in fact I came across it on TV not too long ago. You know, I realized my free spirit and nature probably around puberty. I was a teen in the late 60’s and early 70’s when a whole lot of shit was going down in the US. I often say the America was going through puberty at the same time I was. While I think, for the most part, I remained free within, I pretty much was suppressed and oppressed for 41 years of work and associated life: marriage, divorce, kids, marriage, work, city councilman, church man, etc. I retired Sept. 2009. The first year was a tough transition. I dealt with mental stuff and honestly it took almost that whole first year to be able to relax. Anyway, fast forward to October 2010. I finally cast off all the junk and found my freedom and anti-establishment, minimalist, free thinking self. I took part in Facebook’s No-Shave-November and have not shaved since. I am also growing my hair out after years and years of a buzz cut. Fuck it! I’m gonna be the me that has always been me. Only now I’m letting it show and don’t care who does or does not like it! Enough of me – thank-you for your blog – I’m following you on Facebook and Twitter and tweeted this article and am putting it as a post on my blog. Peace and Love!