Rule No 6
November 20, 2021
In the face of difficulty, we can despair, get angry ……..Or choose possibility. This is the essence of one of the most practical yet inspiring and uplifting books in my library- The Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander.
We all have a framework of assumptions built around our beliefs. Instead of getting stressed and looking for answers, the authors invite us to consider an alternative approach whenever we encounter obstacles. Change the frame of reference for the same set of circumstances, and new possibilities and pathways to deal with the issue emerge. The Book presents 12 different practices that we can bring into our lives to deal with daily problems.
I am reproducing below an extract from Chapter No 6 in the Book- Called Rule No 6.
Two prime ministers are sitting in a room discussing affairs of state. Suddenly a man bursts in, apoplectic with fury, shouting and stamping and banging his fist on the desk. The resident prime minister admonishes him: “Peter,” he says, “kindly remember Rule Number 6,” whereupon Peter is instantly restored to complete calm, apologizes, and withdraws.
The politicians return to their conversation, only to be interrupted yet again twenty minutes later by a hysterical woman gesticulating wildly, her hair flying. Again the intruder is greeted with the words: “Marie, please remember Rule Number 6.” Complete calm descends once more, and she too withdraws with a bow and an apology.
When the scene is repeated for a third time, the visiting prime minister addresses his colleague: “My dear friend, I’ve seen many things in my life, but never anything as remarkable as this. Would you be willing to share with me the secret of Rule Number 6?”
“Very simple,” replies the resident prime minister. “Rule Number 6 is ‘Don’t take yourself so damned seriously.’” “Ah,” says his visitor, “that is a fine rule.” After a moment of pondering, he inquires, “And what, may I ask, are the other rules?”
“There aren’t any.”
The practice that Rule NO 6 highlights is to lighten up and not take yourself too seriously. And one way to do this is by bringing in a healthy dose of humor into your life. When you let go and lighten up, you free yourself from the shackles of the critical, controlling parts of yourself and open yourself to a world of new possibilities.
The next time you feel stressed, agitated, or overwhelmed about something, remember Rule No 6. Lighten up !!