Rule Number 6 – The Practice of Lightening Up

“Life is too important to be taken seriously.”  – Oscar Wilderule_number_6

Two prime ministers sitting in a room, and suddenly the door bursts open, and a man came in and he was extremely upset and shouting and carrying on. The resident prime minister said, “Peter, Peter, please remember Rule #6.” And immediately Peter was restored to complete calm.

And a young woman came in. She was hysterical. Hair was flying all over the place.

Shouting and carrying on. He said, “Maria, please remember Rule #6!” And immediately

Maria said, “Oh, I’m so sorry,” and she apologized and walked out.

And then it happened a third time. You know how it always happens a third time.

And the visiting prime minister said, “My dear colleague, I’ve seen three people come into the room in a state of uncontrollable fury, and they walked out completely calmly. Would you be willing to share this Rule #6, what that is?”

And he said, “Oh yes, Rule #6, very simple. Don’t take yourself so damned seriously.”

And so he said, “Oh, that’s a wonderful rule. What may I ask are the other rules?”

And he says, “There aren’t any.”

A simple shift in the way we think can help us distinguish the part of ourselves that is forced to live in the competitive business world obsessed with measurement. When we practice Rule Number 6, we help our “calculating self” to lighten up. By doing so, we break its hold on us.

You can read more about Rule Number 6 in Zander’s book, The Art of Possibility.


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