Remember Rule Number Six

At the bottom of every post, I use the salutation "RR#6" and here I'll explain why.

The story goes that two prime ministers were sitting in a room discussing affairs of state. Suddenly an aide burst in, shouting and banging his fist on the desk. The host prime minister quietly said, “Peter, kindly remember Rule Number Six.” Peter was instantly restored to complete calm, apologized for the interruption, and left the room. The prime ministers resumed their discussion.

Several minutes later, another aide rushed in, shouting and stamping. Again the host prime minister quietly said, “Marie, please remember Rule Number Six.” Marie calmed down immediately, apologized, and left the room.

The visiting prime minister said “I’ve seen many things in my life, but never anything as remarkable as this. Tell me, what is this Rule Number Six?” The host prime minister said, “It’s really very simple. Rule Number Six is ‘Don’t take yourself so damned seriously.’” After a moment of pondering, the visiting prime minister inquired, “And what, may I ask, are the other rules?”

The host replied, “There aren’t any.”

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

I first read that story in a self-help book, and I've heard it referenced many times since.  About seven years ago, when life was getting a bit stressful, I wrote "RR#6" on a post-it note and hung it on my computer monitor.  

Every time I felt my mind spinning, or found that my professional responsibilities were threatening to upset my work-life balance, I would notice "RR#6", take a deep breath and smile.

In investing, we have to fight many behavioral biases that are the essence of what it means to be human: making decisions based on our emotions and our mental state.

Perhaps remembering rule number six can help you stay focused not on the stress of day-to-day responsibilities, but rather on the goodness and beauty around us and inside us.


Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as financial advice.  Please see the Disclaimer page for full details.