in Digital, Entrepreneurship, Inspiration

What Happened to These 5 Great Leaders When They Broke the Rules (It’s Not What You Think)!

Have you ever got frustrated of being forced to follow rules? If so, you are not alone, many great leaders also felt the same. Please read on to discover how these great leaders broke rules in life and what happened to them.

The 1st Leader

When he returned to India to fight against the colonial rule. He had a choice to declare a blood shedding war against Britain like every other freedom fighting leaders had been. He could have gained support from the enemy countries of Britain and could have led a brutal war with his moral authority.

Yet what he did was he broke the rule on how wars were fought. He introduced a new way of freedom fighting, to respect enemies and to protest peacefully without hurting anyone – that’s how non-violence movement was born.

You must have guessed this great leader already – Ghandhiji.

In case Ghandhiji had followed what every other leader were doing in his time, he would have never become the legend whom the world is learning from, nor he would have considered as the father of the nation.

The 2nd Leader

He was another passionate entrepreneur who started up his company inside a garage in Silicon Valley well before the place became famous as the leading IT hub in the world. He was obsessed to create a computer which everyone can use. Back then big companies where creating computers for industrial purpose. But this person went on to create computers for personal use.

He was breaking the rules of competition. His personal computers created an industry of its own rather than competing with the biggies then, directly.

When he introduced world’s first translucent personal computer (iMac 1998), when he introduced world’s first computer generated animation film (Pixar’s Toy Story), when he introduced 1000 songs in a pocket (iPod), when he introduced first smartphone (iPhone), he wasn’t actually competing with anyone else, but was creating  an industry of its own.

Yes, you must have guessed this great entrepreneur right – Steve Jobs.

Though he and his team might have projected IBM back then and later Microsoft as their competitors for tackling the legal issues related to anti-monopoly laws in capitalism. Apple has always built niche industries unlike everyone else, while others were busy competing against price and features.

In case Steve had followed every other Silicon Valley companies’ were doing, he would have never become one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the century.

The 3rd Leader

He had been sent to live with his maternal grandparents until he was 7, as their parents couldn’t afford to take care another kid. In his grandparents’ house, he had complete freedom even not to choose to schooling. He went on in complete silence for many days and their grandparents maintained a space for him to be in that state so that he could think deeply.

This early age meditative living had hugely impacted his intellect. Later he immersed in books and by his age of 18 he had read over 3000 books which include books of – Plato, Socrates, Marx, Freud, many great philosophers and psychologists.

Later years he became a well-known spiritual guru along with a sheer number of controversies as he talked against institutionalised religions.

He famously quoted against institutionalised religions:

“…any religion which considers life meaningless and full of misery, and teaches the hatred of life, is not a true religion. Religion is an art that shows how to enjoy life”

There are many people who disagree with him but they cannot ignore this man named – Osho Rajaneesh.

Even though he died in 1990 there are millions of followers around the globe who are still listening to and practising his doctrines who broke the rules on how to live.

In case Osho had followed the rules we would have lost one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the second half of the 20th century as credited by Penguin Books.

The 4th Leader

When his daughter died just before her fourth birthday he went on to a year of silence. He thought her daughter being affected by polio and her death was because of his carelessness. One day on his peak of despair, he tried to commit suicide, as per his account, he heard an invisible voice talking to him directly as below:

“You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others”

Since then he had invented many things and written over 30 books to contribute to the humanity. We can call him the master of breaking rules. For the sake of this blog post, I’m picking his reinvented structure named Geodesic Dome which is one of its kind of a structure, this was a revolutionising way of constructing the buildings.

A picture will explain a thousand words about it, here it’s:

The whole structure is built with a series of triangular elements which has a larger capacity to withstand heavy loads than any other structure, it was light weighted and the most cost effective architectural solution.

The one who broke this rule of architecture was – Buckminster Fuller.

He is considered truly a man ahead of his time, Einstein once said to him: “Young man, you amaze me!”.

Had Buckminster Fuller followed the rules of architecture, the carbon molecules with the structural resemblance of Geodesmic Dome wouldn’t have named after him – Fullerness.

The 5th Leader

This person was born in this world to great parents. Since birth, this person has been curious to understand many things, yet the people around couldn’t provide the right answers.

Later this person had to join the educational system and started learning to follow the rules of competition, not to talk too much, never to question things, wearing same uniforms as everyone else and hundreds of things which had been passed down from ages, especially from the industrial age, where people had to be trained to do the jobs of governments and the large industrial complexes. Skilled workers for specific tasks were needed that time.

Even that person was born in the information age, where automation was taking over redundant jobs, that person had to undergo this imposing of out-dated rules.

That person’s heart knew:

“I am not meant to follow the rules everyone else has set on me, I am the one who meant to create rules which my heart says and to contribute for our universe to move forward”.

This person is you and me! We all are born with a unique mission to serve the humanity!

But people around us – our schools, politicians, religion and everything we call “the system” – always tries to make us to be like someone else, to work like someone else, to worship like someone else.

The truth is, like the first 4 great leaders did, we all can create rules and design our lives the way we wanted to. Yet there is a catch, when we create our own rules, mix them with ‘love’. Only then the life becomes truly magnificent for us and to everyone around us. Ghandhiji mixed love in wars, Steve mixed love in products, Osho mixed love in his preachings, Bucky mixed love for humanity. So can you…

Let’s break some rules with love!

P.S. Hope this article has been helpful to you. In case you think one for your friend would love to read this, go ahead and share this article with that person by clicking the below buttons! Sharing is caring!

Jerin Jacob
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  1. I am not sure if all these stories are entirely true. But the main point that I took away is that sometimes you have to break the rules to affect change. Although that could work both for good or for bad.

  2. This is really inspirational! I especially love the idea to go against the gain of soceity. This is an important lesson in todays world.

  3. Change comes in many different ways, while I do not agree on breaking the rules sometimes is required to be able to be free. Within the history of the world there have been many wars and battles that have brought change. In some cases good and some not good and the people has paid very high price. Freedom is precious however is difficult to achieve it without suffering.

  4. Steven Jobs broke too many rules, even those of friendship. I just saw the movie about his life. Although sometimes breaking the rules may bring about a good change I would say that’s not a …rule. 🙂

  5. I was not familiar with numbers 3 or 4. What I found interesting about 1 and 2 were that, for all the greatness they contributed to the world at large, they both had terrible habits that affected those closest to them. I’ve heard Gandhi was even kind of abusive to his wife!! Anyway, Iove this post because I actually learned something interesting from it!

  6. This is really interesting. I am a full believer of following your gut/heart. I think that you should know what’s best for you and your cause if your heart is really into it.