How to Fail at Anything, Step 2: Keep making exceptions.

Last time we talked about how important it is to keep the rules we set for ourselves. However, making exceptions is not the same as changing the rules completely. To demonstrate let’s look again at the game of Monopoly.

Imagine if Monopoly was like English Grammar and started making exception for every rule. For example, lets change Monopoly and say you get $200 every time you pass Go – except on Monday’s where its $150, except when you roll doubles and have to pay $200, except double 6 and then you get $2000, except when you hold three properties and only get $125.00…

Even better yet, imagine playing the game when the amount of money is determined by consensus of the other players in the group each time around. If this were the case, then the game of Monopoly would have stopped in 1935, because no one could understand the rules.

The moral of the story, when we start allowing for exceptions,  changing the rules is not far behind. And like we discovered before,  achieving our plan will just be that much harder to do if we keep changing the rules.


How to Fail at Anything, Step 2: Keep making exceptionsBeware the complexity of exceptions

Another way to look at the complexity of exceptions is to go back and look at our time in English class.

In class we learn spelling and cover such confusing  rules as – I before E, except after C, except after the sound A, as in neighbor and weigh.  Then there are those pesky exception laden grammar rules like: objective and subjective pronouns, irregular verbs, comparative and superlative forms, relative clauses, punctuation and hundreds of other confusing grammatical points.

According to  “Almost every grammar rule in English has some exceptions to it.”  Maybe this is why we were forced to study English from kindergarten all the way through High school.

So what does one do when confronted with so many exceptions? We give up and walk away.

Why?  Because it’s hard to learn something in which rules are not hard and fast, and change regularly.

The same can be said when we start making exceptions to the rules and principles we set for ourselves. It’s hard to complete a task when we start making frequent exceptions and changes along the way. This may be why it takes us so long to reach the goals and dreams we have for our lives.  It is human nature to shy away from things that confuse us. And nothing is more confusing than following rules with numerous exceptions.

So if you want to fail at anything, just keep making exceptions to your plans. And remember this, sometimes exceptions are just excuses in disguise.

How to fail at anything, Step 1: Change the rules