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The Rules – Do your ‘rules’ support your goals?

We all have rules. They are our guide for right and wrong. They also measure how others are conforming to our well-ordered belief systems. For example, my rules dictate that any man over the age of, say, twenty-two, should never wear a baseball cap backward and in fact, should have a pretty good reason to wear one at all. Similarly, women over the age of sixteen should never leave their house with their hair in pigtails. I feel strongly about these rules and woe unto the breaker of these immutable laws who happens to catch my eye.

Perhaps this bit of puffery leaves you sitting in judgment of my rules, as I have just trampled on yours. I feel you casting a bitter eye as you read this. But stop for a moment and consider your rules. Where are your boundaries, your markers of right and wrong, the alarm bells that are set off when forbidden territory is invaded? Such boundaries are necessary, or at least handy, in helping us navigate our lives, stay on the road and out of ditches. There are occasions, though, when we just don’t have enough information to establish helpful rules. Sometimes, we have to wind up in that ditch.

When it comes to money, we all have rules. One great example is the “How Much” rule – justifications for expenditures can calm one person’s soul while raising ire in the next. I learned, a long time ago, never to impose my judgments on spending on a client. This was an ugly lesson to learn, terrifying, in fact. I walked into the sharks gaping mouth, happily, believing that I was somehow immune from harm. It just didn’t work out that way.

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