Stephen Woolston

Steve's Articles, Coach and NLP Trainer in Maidstone and London

There isn’t one rule, way or formula

I’m sorry, but it makes me laugh when people tell you with absolute certainty that in order to be happy or successful or achieve goals you have to be this and you have to do that.

Like there’s only one true way to go about it.

Like if you follow this one exact pattern you will succeed and if you don’t you won’t.

Look, there are definitely things we can say tend to work better for most people, other things that tend to not work so well and models that tend to be helpful. However, when people cling on to such rigid rules and structures, I just see all the people who broke those rules and were happy and successful anyway and all those who followed the rules and aren’t.

I believe in models and observations and experimentation but not rules.

Then again, if I turned my experience about that into a rule, I’d be making the same mistake.

By all means let’s share ideas and tips with each other but let’s not fall for the illusion of rules, rigid structures and falsely predictable if-then outcomes.

Life is yin and yang. Some people make a rule that you must have great, big, enormous goals to succeed. Others make a rule that you absolutely must not set goals if you want to live spiritually free.

Which way is right?

There’s some truth in both.

Life is rich in paradoxes. Well, maybe are they not really paradoxes but simple examples of yin-yang cyclicism.

Some people could do with a goal or two, to be honest. Some people could do with no goals or less. It all depends on where we are right now and what nourishes our soul right now.

Sometimes, it’s time for doing, sometimes it’s time for letting go.

Whilst it would be a mistake to turn this observation into a rule too, it often turns out that people who are addicted to goals actually don’t need more goals or motivation, they need a holiday from goals. Sometimes, people addicted to passivity could do with a bit more structure in their lives.

Living life is like a mixing water. It’s not about absolute hot, absolute cold or even absolute middle. It’s about turning the tap up a bit and down a bit as we need.

Even spiritual practice might require some planning, discipline and structure.

So, screw rules. Feel where you are and turn the tap appropriately. But don’t make a rule out if that!

Wishing you health and happiness,

Steve.