In boxing, there are parts of the body that are deemed off limits to a deathly blow. Because if you’re the one to initiate an off-limits blow, fear of retaliation will have you guarding your loins until the apocalypse.
But these days, all of the boundaries are being pushed—not just in sports, but in every aspect of our lives where competition rules over us like the NRA rules over Fox news. We no longer can fade into the background of our cherished rules in hopes that success will somehow find us, buried under a mound of misery and Twinkie wrappers. Opportunity has become slimmer, and with it, the chances of success. So we break the rules. Or at least push against them with force greater than the Hulk on Red Bull.
So if our options are shrinking, is it really such a bad thing to push our limits? Rule-breakers have always existed in history—they’re the ones who we can thank for our knowledge of astronomy, the invention of the atomic bomb, and the freeing of the Tibetans. But now, more than ever, rule-breaking is critical. (And by rule-breaking I don’t mean packing your rucksack to couch surf in hostels because you think a desk-job is the death of coolness. I mean rule-breaking to find honest-to-goodness success.) There are so many people, with so much knowledge, in our progressive era that becoming successful in any domain feels like an impossible feat. But if Bill Gates wouldn’t have snuck into his university computer lab in the middle of the night to write code, would he have ended up another college bum crowding Cancun on spring break? If Warren Buffett wouldn’t have persuaded a janitor to let him into the office of a GEICO exec, would he be just another mid-twenty-year-old throwing a couple dollars at the trendy Facebook stock?
Rule-breakers matter. They make the difference between ordinary and extraordinary, between stagnancy and innovation, between the world as we knew it yesterday versus the way it will be tomorrow. And in a time and place where opportunity presents itself like a Bentley’s engine disguised in a Ford’s frame, our only option is to push the boundaries and find what’s hidden beneath the pile of rubble before us. As Thomas Edition so masterfully puts it, “Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.”
The groin is no longer off limits. So go ahead and wind up your sucker-punch.