Challenge the Rules


According to legend, Alexander the Great was given a puzzle, the Gordian Knot, to solve. Whoever could untie the knot was destined to become the King of Asia. Seeing no way to untie it by regular means, Alexander drew his sword and cut the knot in half.

Sometimes we operate within a set of rules that are arbitrary. Sometimes the need for the rule has long been forgotten. Alexander was not call “the Great” for nothing. He realized that the real solution lay outside the set of rules assumed by everyone else who had tried and failed.

What opportunities do you have for bold and decisive action? Does it scare you to think about “breaking the rules?” Are you worried about starting a business because of what other people will say? “But what if I fail?” You’re right. You may. Twice. Three or four times, maybe.

Professors are supposed to be educated idiots. You know, the kind that can explain how a watch works but can’t tell time. They aren’t “supposed” to start an online university. They are supposed to earn tenure and live happily ever after. As my cousin Tommy used to say, “*&^%* that noise.”

I would rather fall on my face a thousand times than stay on the porch with the rest of the university dogs. It scares me every single time I take a chance. It hurts when I fail–every single time–at least for a while. But in the end, I can look in the mirror and know I belong in Alexander’s company rather than the in that long line of timid souls who “followed the rules.”

Draw your sword. Cut the knot.

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