Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Never Forget Rule Number 6

My favorite boss, Heidi Guest, who I worked for years ago in New York City in the education and training department at a major cosmetics company (yes, you read that right, a major cosmetics company), is now running her own mentoring and consulting business, as well she should, because she is inspiring and amazing and recoznises beauty and talent in everyone and…I’m digressing…

She recommended to me this wonderful book The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander.

In it he tells this lovely story about Rule Number 6.

Two politicians are having a meeting when they are interrupted by a man, shouting and stamping and one of the politicians says to him, “Remember Rule #6”. The shouting man is restored to calm and leaves. They are interrupted again by a hysterical woman and again the politican says, “Marie, remember Rule #6”. She is calm, apologizes and leaves. A third person enters and the same thing happens. The other politican says, “what is this Rule Number 6?”
The politician says, “Rule Number 6 is ‘Don’t take yourself so g—damn seriously’”.
The other politican says, “that’s a fine rule” and then asks, “what, may I ask, are the other five rules?”
“There aren’t any.”

This is just one of the wisdoms this book gives us, and there are many. This one is one of the most important, though, for me at least. I find myself always being serious about the work—the play, the writing, the ART!

Not that I’m saying it shouldn’t be taken seriously. Art is not frivolous. But it’s about life and life can be fun. Life can be goofy. And its important to know what’s really important in life.

Some people get really bent out of shape when a production doesn’t go the way they want it to. Some productions will be bad, due to forces out of our control, or just because we’ve failed. To recognize that we are fallible, though, and then to laugh about it, is part of Rule Number 6.

For instance, the other day, I walked into a glass door at the library.

Seriously, I did.

And I would like to say that I instantly got the joke on myself and chuckled about it.

But I didn’t.

I got really mad at that stupid glass door right away! How dare it make me run into it and look foolish!

Then I felt really stupid about it. Two hours later, recalling what I must’ve looked like, I laughed. I mean, honestly, if I saw some idiot do that, I'd show no restraint.

My goal is to skip all that wasted anger and go right to the laughing bit. Rule Number 6 is not always so easy to apply, though.

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