I discovered someone else who broke the rules
Yep, I had an inkling but I wasn't sure of the specifics.
As a child raised in northern California, John Muir was always a familiar name.
This weekend I did a little more research. This icon of nature and wilderness broke the rules.
He actually broke the rules in at least THREE BIG WAYS.
John Muir stepped out of his comfort zone when he first left his family in Wisconsin. More difficultly, though, he left behind their ideals. His family believed in living for the "after life" and Muir believed there was something to live for NOW. He went in search of this.
After graduating from college, Muir utilized his talents as an engineer and inventor, working in factories. Although he had a natural gift and skill with much room for growth and development, he left this behind to wander.
When John Muir and Ralph Waldo Emerson finally sat down to meet eachother in the Sierra Nevadas, Emerson was so inspired by the intelligence and passion of Muir, he encouraged Muir to join him and become a scholar in Boston. Muir declined.
It takes a great calling to leave behind the belief system of family and to not be persuaded by the expectations of culture. It takes a stronger character, I believe, to follow one's own instincts rather than that of a highly esteemed mentor (in the case for Muir, Emerson).
I find people like Muir fascinating.
Read more about others who have broken the rules here.