The Rules of Life: Rule 1 -- Keep It Under Your Hat
- Nov 16, 2010
Keep It Under Your Hat
You are about to become a Rules Player. You are about to embark on a life-changing adventure, possibly, if you choose to accept your mission. You are about to discover ways to become positive, happy, and successful in everything you do. So there's no need to say anything to anybody about it. Keep quiet. No one likes a smart arse. That's it. First Rule: Keep It Under Your Hat.
There may well be times when you do want to talk to other people about what you're doing because, quite naturally, you want to share it with somebody. Well, you can't and you don't. Let people find out for themselves with no clues from you. You may think this unfair, but it is actually fairer than you believe. If you tell them, they'll shy away. And quite rightly so—we all hate being preached at. It's a bit like when you give up smoking and suddenly find this new healthier way of living and you simply have to convert all your old smoking friends. Trouble is, they aren't ready to quit yet and you find they label you as smug or self-righteous or, even worse, an ex-smoker. And how we all hate those.
So the first Rule is, quite simply, don't preach, propagate, try to convert, shout from the rooftops, or even mention this.
You will get a warm glow from changing your attitude to life and having people ask what it is you have done, are doing, and you can say that it's nothing, merely a sunny day and you feel better/happier/livelier/whatever. There is no need to go into any detail because that's not really what people want to know. In fact, it's exactly the opposite of what they want to know. It's a bit like when someone asks how you are. What they want to really hear is just the one word, "Fine." Even if you are in the very pits of despair, that's all people want to hear because anything more requires commitment on their part. And for a casual "How are you?", that's most certainly not what they want. What they want is just "Fine." And then they can be about their business without any further involvement. If you don't say "Fine" but instead unburden yourself, they will back off pretty quickly.
And it's the same with being a Rules Player. No one really wants to know, so keep quiet. How do I know? Because when I wrote The Rules of Work, which turned a lot of people onto the ability to be successful in the workplace without having to resort to underhand means, I suggested the same thing and found it worked. Just get on with it, do it quietly, and go about your daily life happily and smugly without having to tell anyone anything.