We bent the rule to achieve the goal.

Abdulrafiu Arikewuyo
3 min readApr 23, 2023
Photo by Engin Akyurt: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-white-dartboard-1552617/

The goal was happiness, fun, joy, and laughter.

In this article, I’ll be sharing a personal story about how bending the rules led to achieving a goal, and how you can apply this lesson to your own life.

On the day of Eid, we were playing a board game together with my sons. At first, it was a battle about who will play with Daddy first. ‘Bring a coin’ I said. ‘You choose one side and you choose the other. If I flip the coin, any side that shows up will tell us whom to start with.’ I told them, ‘Do you agree?’ I asked. Yes. Yes. The two of them echoed.

After flipping the coin, it was the younger one that got the chance and we started. If we maintain the game’s rule, he will lose and will not be happy and that’ll be bad for Eid day. Moreso, that was not the initial goal. The goal was happiness, fun, joy, and laughter.

To achieve the goal, we had to change the rule of the game 🎯. Instead of tapping the striker ones, we allowed the young boy to strike more than once. At the end of the game, he won — he was so excited that he won and Daddy lost to him. And for me — it’s a mission accomplished. So everyone wins because we bent the rule.

Later in the evening, he played with his elder brother — who will not bend the game’s rules. His aim was to strike the queen 👑 but alas, his elder brother did. I was inside when I heard a loud cry from him. I went to him to ask what happened. In a crying tone, he said ‘I could not take the queen.’ This time, the mission failed.

Have you been holding up to any rule that is preventing you from achieving your life goals? Can you bend those rules so you can move ahead in life?

Jordan Peterson, a famous clinical psychologist, and best-selling author have argued that agreeable people are often paid less than disagreeable people for the same job.

This is because being agreeable can lead to people pleasing and prevent individuals from standing up for themselves and achieving their goals. Also, if you are agreeable, it means you are not ready to compromise the rule — bending an existing rule is not an option.

By extension, what norm, culture, and social values are agreeing with that is limiting your progress? Can you bend them?

Of course, there are no-go areas. For instance, you don’t want to bend the rules of your religion — at least I wouldn’t do it. Also, you don’t want to bend any agreement you have with someone, tell a lie, or betrayal yourself (by compromising your values or integrity) or someone else simply because you want to achieve a goal. That’s not what I’m advocating here.

For instance, some professionals believe that if you keep jumping from one company to another, you’ll be considered to be an inconsistent professional. If changing jobs is one way to get to achieve your aim, you can bend this professional rule and move on.

An example is Jeff Bezos who broke the traditional rules of retail by focusing on online sales and offering a wider range of products than traditional brick-and-mortar stores. This allowed Amazon to become the dominant player in the e-commerce industry.

In conclusion, you’ll need to evaluate yourself and identify what is setting you back. If breaking the rule will allow you to forge ahead, do it and move up

Thanks for reading

Your boy
Abdulrafiu Arikewuyo

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Abdulrafiu Arikewuyo

Abdulrafiu Arikewuyo is a teacher and a writer. On a mission to change the school model.