Rule Followers and Rule Breakers

Maybe there are more than 2 types of people in the world… (DUH)… but for today’s conversation, let’s just break them down to 2.

Rule Followers (RFs)

Rule Breakers (RBs)

Now let’s add a little twist and give those 2 sub-types.

Enlightened Rule Followers (ERFs)

Enlightened Rule Breakers (ERBs)

I’d be the Rule Breaker type. So I’ll just put that out there right up front. There was a day when I lived a RB kind of life, but I’ve now graduated to the enlightened group. Let me explain.

There are such vast differences in perception between RBs and RFs that often they can’t get along with each other at all.

The down side of the rule breaker category, I must admit, is living outside the law, and that is not good. But the upside RBs are the innovators, the creative sorts, often entrepreneurs that just dare the world to tell them something is impossible so they can go out and make it happen.

Those at the low end of the RF category are pointing fingers at those who break out of the norm and sometimes push the envelope to the limit.

So, there can be a lot of judgment going back and forth between the 2 groups even though it is these very differences that make the world go around.

The enlightened ones on both side have a lot going for them. Having dropped their judgments about people who think entirely different from them, they are now open to enjoy and revel in the unique and special talents of the opposite group.

One of my best friends is the ultimate Rule Follower. She follows the rules, TO THE LETTER no matter what. Don’t try to get her to fudge on anything. She doesn’t go even one mile over the speed limit, always uses her blinkers, gets off the phone when there is lightning, etc. You get the picture.

Me being a rule breaker, I ignore all of those at times. And some of them ALL THE TIME. Speed limit? What’s that?

So, how can we be the best of friends?

It is the word ‘enlightened’ that makes the difference.

When I suggest that she do something that might be a slight infraction of ‘the rules’, she starts to explain why she can’t. And… even as she starts, I say, “Oh yea, you’re a rule follower.” And then we both laugh.

You can’t make a person go against their basic nature and, we should all give up on trying. We’d be a lot happier.

When I tell her my hair-brained ideas, or wend a wild tale about something that seems too far out to be possible, she just cheers me on.

Breaking the rules seems as impossible to her and keeping them is for me, but we take joy in the differences and use them for comic relief.

Secretly… I think there is a hidden rule breaker somewhere inside her… that lives vicariously thru me.



the “Common Core” Generation

untitledRecently I was asking Dakota, a 4th grader, how she was doing in school. As it turns out, her grades were straight ‘A’ except for math. In math she got a ‘D’.

Cody, Dakota’s dad, overheard our conversation and immediately voiced his contempt for ‘Common Core Math’. He said there was no way he could even help her with the homework as he could not figure out why 2 + 2


couldn’t just equal 4 like it used to. (I know this is a stretch, but bare with me for a minute.)

I commiserated with him, being as confused by the whole thing as he was.

A few days later I was talking with my Tabitha, my Goddaughter who is a middle school math teacher. She is teaching “Common Core”. What an enlightening conversation!

Tabitha explained that kids grow up today with computers, debit cards, etc. they do not even experience the same things we grew up with. For instance, they have no reason to learn how to count back change. Actually, people are even getting away from using real money in their transactions. Many things are handled automatically that used to be ways for learning basic math skills in real life.

Therefore, kids in this new age do not develop the natural deductive ability to discern whether or not the mathematical answers they get make any sense. If they use a calculator to add up 285 + 300 and they push a wrong button, the answer may come up 3,285. They have not developed any skill for being able to immediately see that it cannot possibly be the right answer. The world they live in did not teach them that logic.

“Common Core” is geared to teach in such a way that the kids learn to estimate. Through that method they learn the logic we acquired naturally by simply growing up in a different time…. In a different world.

For many of us, it is almost impossible to fathom that things could be so different than when we grew up, but actually they are.

Some 3 year olds know more about operating a smart phone than I do. I was in my 40s before cell phones even existed.

By the time they get their first account, they will graduate to a debit card and the bank will do all their calculations for them. They will not look into their billfold to see how much money they can spend. They will go online and the bank records will tell them.

“Common Core” is a way of teaching what many of us think of as ‘common sense’.


Paint Your Masterpiece


Right before you were born, God placed in your right hand a brand new artist’s canvas, rolled up like a scroll. And in your left, a handful of bright colored paints.


He hugged you tight and kissed you on the forehead. “Go into the world my child and make of your life a beautiful masterpiece.”

Shocked at the sight of a newborn armed with such sophisticated materials, the doctor pried your little fingers from the gifts you were born with to your screams of protest.

“A baby cannot possibly have the skills to paint on canvas with oils.”

Soon they were replaced with a page marked with soft blue lines, each with a number in it and crayons labeled with matching numbers. As they tucked these in your crib, you were assured, “Life was about staying in the lines and painting by the numbers. If you do that everything will work out fine.”

And that is a lie!

Author unknown

Unlock the Mystery

all the answers

If you just read the box, I bet you’re thinking, “ Oh yeah, RIGHT!”

Believe it or not, you actually do have some internal wisdom that you can tap into.

Everybody has it, but most of the time it is that nudging that we try to ignore. You may have spent so many years denying it that you are completely oblivious to fact that it is still there, quietly in the background .

Here’s one that is a sure fire sign for me.

Whenever I am in the midst of a project or a situation….. and I’m having a degree of unrest with some aspect or another and I think to myself…..

”Oh…… it will probably be all right….”

Well, that’s my hint. My intuition is telling me ‘no’ and I am attempting to ignore it.

And then, when things have gone to ‘hell in a hand basket’ (as my mother would say) I beat myself up with this…. “I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!”

Sound familiar?

On the other side, it is what brings a smile to your heart when things are working out ‘just right’ or you are moving in the best direction. You feel lighter, optimistic.

Listen up….that’s your intuition talkin’.

The good news is that the more you pay attention, the more clear your messages will be.

“All the answers to the questions you have been asking really are right in front of you.”

When in doubt, take a moment to access your intuition, your God connection. It will never let you down.

Truth and Consequences

What if, your life was actually a movie playing out in front of you to show you the consequences of your thoughts and actions?

Just imagine that possibility for a moment.

Then take a quick look at it from the standpoint of it being your movie. Kind of a cool idea, huh?

And further….. what if your life really was that? Would you be happy with your movie?

What genre would you categorize it in? Drama? Suspense? Horror? Romance? Family rated?

If you are not completely satisfied with what is playing out in front of you, it’s never too late you switch your category.

The truth is, the life you see out in front of you starts with your mind. But most of us think that it is our exterior circumstances that are causing everything we see ‘out there.’

You can see what an endless and frustrating merry-go-round a person can be on always hoping that their life will change so that they can finally be happy.. When, in fact, their life/ their movie only transforms by them finding more peace and satisfaction inside themselves.

This isn’t an easy change… but that is only because the real truth runs so counter to what we have believed all our lives. As you gather your belief around you, and give it a try, you will see subtle changes that will help you ‘change your mind’.

We’ve all heard “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

The truth really is that…. “When you believe it, you will see it.”

_____________________________________________________Dina Dove

As an author, inspirational speaker, and coach, I am dedicated to helping people remember who they really are at their deepest core and discover their unique path to career and personal fulfillment.

For further information, please contact me at

Snow White had it Right

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs show us that vanity, envy and jealousy don’t make us popular and… that love conquers all.

Robert Fulghum wrote that all he ever needed to know he learned in kindergarten.

Actually, in a more sophisticated manner, Dale Carnegie teaches adults similar skills.

Thinking about it, it kind of takes me aback to consider that as adults we are still grappling with the basics.

And, if you can conquer the basics, your life will be a success.

These 3 simple changes will lead to a joy filled life.

1. Take care of yourself, but give up vanity. Beauty is on the inside.

2. Celebrate the good fortune of others. It will lead to your own.

3. Concentrate on becoming the best you that you can be. There will be no time left to be jealous of others.

Oh… And Snow White… Don’t worry too much about her. She has love and you know what they say about that.

“Love is all you need.”

________________________________________________Dina Dove

As an author, inspirational speaker, and coach, I am dedicated to helping people remember who they really are at their deepest core and discover their unique path to career and personal fulfillment.

For further information, please contact me at

The Ugly Made Beautiful

Perfection is a matter of perspective.

I used to be a producing artist.

Art was my life.

(Now I am a non-producing artist)

Anyway,  I always ended up with the pieces that ‘weren’t good enough to sell’.

Now, years later, as I look at them in my home, I see them with different eyes.

Funny thing…. I can’t for the life of me figure out what I thought was wrong with them in the first place.

Time has given me a whole different view of perfection.

Isn’t that just the way it goes? We are so terribly critical of our own  writing, work, body, …. You name it.

And yet, we tend to see more good in others and the things they do.

The reason is that we are looking with different, less judging eyes.

It took a long time for me to see those pieces as perfect works of creativity.

And, It was all a matter of perspective.

Nothing changed about the pieces. As time went on, my focus changed.

And suddenly, the ugly was made beautiful.

Do you feel like you aren’t “good enough”?  Do you have self-esteem issues?

 Would you like to change that now?


Dina Dove

Dina Dove new pic



As an author, inspirational speaker, and coach, I am dedicated to helping people remember who they really are at their deepest core and discover their unique path to career and personal fulfillment.