How did you choose your rules for living life? Probably by following the examples around you? How often do you question them? Have you ever sat back and said hmm, I know this is the way mom/dad/insert-authority-figure-here always told me to do things, and always did things themselves...but is this really a good idea for ME?
An exercise. Make the following lists:
1. What values, habits, beliefs, and aspects of your life are the direct result of learned behavior that you picked up from someone influential in your life? (For extra credit, write down who that influencer was.) Examples: The notion that getting up early in the morning is objectively good, your ideas around what a "good job" looks like, your ideas around what a typical diet looks like.
2. What values, habits, beliefs, and aspects of your life are completely of your own making, and contradict those of someone influential in your life (like your parents)?
Examples: Do you follow the same religious/spiritual beliefs as your parents? Do you have a "weird" hobby or passion that no one else you grew up with shares?
Take some time with these lists. Let yourself marinate on them for awhile. You may be surprised by what you come up with. You may even find that you want to make a concerted effort to lengthen list #2!
This exercise was a HUGELY important part of my journey from sad lawyer to happy entrepreneur. I had to shed a LOT of preconceived notions and pre-programmed ideas in order to work up the courage to make a real change in my life. It was difficult and scary self-work, but oh so worth it. I hope you'll give it a shot, and I hope it proves to be just as powerful an exercise for you as it was for me.
I'd love to see your lists if you feel like sharing. Drop me a line at Alia@AliaJKhan.com - I always love hearing from y'all!