Never Stop Asking Why

Penguins Can't Fly: +39 Other Rules That Don't Exist by Jason Kotecki is probably not something I would have picked up if it had not been discussed at our monthly Actionable Book Club call, but I'm very glad I did.

Jason and his wife Kim are founders of Escape Adulthood. The premise of the book and the movement is that many of us suffer "adultitis" and follow rules that don't really exist.

The book, which is a fun and quick read, has great quotes, and is illustrated by Jason, takes us through 40 of these rules and encourages us to break them.

Some of my favorites:
  • thou shalt act thine age;
  • thou shalt not wear white after Labor Day;
  • thou shalt not eat dessert first;
  • thou shalt not eat breakfast for dinner;
  • thou shalt brag about how busy thou art;
  • thou shalt wait thirty minutes to swim after eating;
  • thou shalt clean thy plate;
  • thou shalt hide thy weirdness;
  • thou shalt not play hooky.
Although some of the "rules" have more obvious limitations (you can't play hooky all the time and only eat dessert), others have absolutely no sense to them (why not wear white after Labor Day and cleaning your plate when you're full is bad for you). 

At the heart of this is that as we become adults, we stop asking why and enjoying life; instead, we do what we're supposed to and/or has always been done, even if there's no rule behind it. 

So to cure ourselves of adultitis (and you can even take a test to see if you're afflicted at, we have to think about what we're doing and why, and start living life our own way. As Jason says at the end of the book, "Your life is a story, and a short one at that. Make it a good one."

What rules are you following that don't exist? 

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