What happens when we take ourselves too seriously? When we think we are the center of the universe – and imagine everyone is not only watching us, but cares about what we do?
Roger Rosenblatt’s second rule in his Rules for Aging offers some good advice: Nobody Is Thinking About YOU.
He writes, “Yes, I know, you are certain …that you have lost your touch…that everyone is spending two-thirds of their day…denigrating your work…I promise you: Nobody is thinking about you. They are thinking about themselves – just like you.
A dose of Mark Twain might be in order. Ever read Mark Twain’s Letters From Hawaii?
Twain’s take on rules is that “it is a good idea to obey all the rules when you’re young. Just so you have the strength to break them when you’re old.”
Looking for a read with a little more information than rules? Try Leonard Mlodinow’s The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives (it is nonalcoholic). Publisher’s Weekly’s review says that this amazing guide “will help readers sort out Mark Twain’s damn lies from meaningful statistics and the choices we face every day.”
Back to Rosenblatt: The first rule in his Rules for Aging is – It doesn’t matter.
“Whatever you think matters – doesn’t. Follow this rule and it will add decades to your life.”