"I have always wanted to go outside barefoot, but my mom said I can't." This was coming from a 60+-year-old man I met while walking barefoot on a packed clay path through a wooded state park. This got me thinking about all the things we do because of what we were told in the past. At some point, we take responsibility for our actions and are accountable to our hopes and dreams. This gentleman has wanted to walk outside barefoot for 60 years and is still reticent to make the dream a reality. He could have achieved this dream in less than 60 seconds, yet rules from a half a century ago keep him locked in his shoes. The world is chock full of signs telling us what to do, think and feel. This direction may have been correct, misguided or the result of a marketing ploy to sell a product. Other signs were from those that meant harm; "you're a loser", "you're not creative", "you can't do math", "you're worthless". The internal resistance also posts signs when we are least expecting; "you look terrible and feel even worse", "you're late, just like always" and "you know you're going to blow this job interview". It is our choice to determine what signs we must obey and those we choose to ignore. It must be a conscious choice as the natural tendency is to obey all posted signs, regardless of source. You were told there was only One Way; is that still true? Your Green Light type A personality drives you to go, go, go for an 80 hour week; is it time to Slow or Stop. You have been sitting at the Red Light waiting for the permissive Green Light to pursue the new idea; it is time to Go. You have been told Do Not Enter, however, you know you must and yet you stand petrified; it is time to Enter. You don't have the right credentials so you Need Not Apply; charge the gates and make them tell you "no" until you get your "yes". Some of my neon signs that light up the night say "Vulnerability is Dangerous, Do Not Proceed", "No Creative Present", "Your Words are Irrelevant", "You're Wasting Your Time" and "Posting is Dangerous". I can't tell you who posted the signs, but they are there and they must be ignored if this post is to see the light of day. Not all signs are to be jettisoned, but intentionally selecting your signage will give you the freedom to make a 60-year-old dream a reality in 60 seconds or less. Go make it happen!
What signs do you obey every day? What signs need to be uprooted? What signs need to be replaced? How can you help those around you replace signage?