Rule #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 fists 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 an hysterical woman gesticulating wildly, her hair flying. Again the intruder is greeted with the words: ‘Marie, please remember Rule Number 6.’ Complete calm descends one 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 dearest 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 damn seriously,’ ‘Ah,’ says the 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.”

That story comes from The Art of Possibility written by Rosemund and Benjamin Zander and I think it is very fitting for this time of year.

December tis the season to be jolly, but for many tis also the season to feel gloomy.

The malls are packed. Traffic is always backed up. We can’t find that perfect gift.

Many things come up during the Christmas season that feel like the end of the world.

Remembering Rule Number 6 is very important.

Don’t let the lines at the mall, the wait in traffic or the lack of perfect gift ideas bog you down.

Don’t take yourself too seriously.