When something is suggested, you weigh up the pros and cons or analyse it before acting. The same should be true of rules.

Who made this rule?

What purpose does it have?

Who benefits from the rule being followed?

Are there any negatives to following the rule?

Or breaking it for that matter?

Rules are always there for a reason, but the reason isn’t always a good one. It could benefit everyone or a select few.

Laws are rules that have been deemed to be in the interests of the majority. It isn’t always the case but it is usually the intention in a democracy.

Businesses have rules or guidelines for their staff to follow. Sometimes this is so that the customer receives the best possible product or service (as should be the case) sometimes it is to protect the status quo.

Governing bodies create rules and qualifications to allow only those who meet certain criteria to be able to practice in their field. In some cases, these rules are of benefit to society (nobody wants an unqualified doctor prescribing them drugs). However, barriers to entry aren’t always created with the best of intentions.

Technology has democratised a lot of industries. Things that were once impossible, or at least difficult, are now accessible. Qualifications are easier to obtain and sometimes the cost of entry into the club is little more than a Paypal payment away.

Again, we should analyse the motives of the rules in place. Is it of benefit to a large number of people or a select few?

We can take the same approach in our work environments. Artists are said to learn the rules only then so that they can break them. This is part of the process. Can we apply the same to what we do? If we are in customer service and there are rules about what we can and can’t do, is it possible that we can provide a better experience by breaking one of these rules?

If your job has many guidelines and leaves little room for making decisions on your own, it is likely time to move on.

Breaking rules for the sake of doing so accomplishes little. Questioning them and breaking a rule that is holding you back, however, might be the right move.