Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Art of Noncompliance

You've noticed that when you live too much on autopilot, you tend to comply too frequently to things that really aren't important to you. Things that get you nowhere. I mean, saying "yes" to things to which you'd rather not.

It can be something small, like attending a meeting that you see as pointless. Or, it can be something substantial, like attending a meeting that you see as pointless. It's up to you to discern and stop doing unnecessary and unrewarding activities.

Ask if you can attend only a small part of the pointless meeting. Or see if you can get totally out of going, because of your "important" project.

The trick is to get your thinking clear first. That means not living in a constant rush where you never have time to question your routine and commitments.

Here are some ways I've been non compliant:

- I raised three kids without buying a diaper-changing table. Never saw the point to it. Same for bottle-warming equipment and most baby food. If you don't see the point, don't go there.

- I never attended a faculty meeting, even though it was recommended by several people as a way to help my career by being more visible. I'd rather have my teeth pulled.

- Haven't watched television in years. Don't keep up with the news, ever. I enjoy my selective ignorance. Most people don't even notice.

- I've had my kids in public school, private school, and home school, thus noncomplying with all three factions.

- I have only one credit card and use it only rarely.

- I don't use under-eye cream. Maybe it will show in a few years. ;-)

- Never worked in a cubicle and have no plans to do so.

- I don't have a Blackberry, but I am thinking about it.

And, for examples of extreme non-compliance, read The Four-Hour Workweek by T. Ferris. He checks email only ONE hour a week and suggests that the rest of us check it only twice a day, and not first thing in the morning.

What can you noncomply with today? Practice getting out of things. Have fun living on the wild side.