“Cultivate a little [of] the don’t-care habit; don’t worry about what other people may think. This will endear you to others and make you liked and loved all the more.”
Dr. Louis E. Bisch
A fascinating fact: Brother Gilbert, who discovered Babe Ruth, once said, “He looked better striking out than he did hitting home runs.” People often noted that the Babe had a very endearing sense of indifference. Even when he was striking out and the bases were loaded and everyone around him, from his fellow players to the fans for against him, was hot and bothered, the Babe radiated calm and remained unconcerned.
Not a bad strategy: We all know what the opposite is like. When we try too hard, we become overanxious. We blow things out of proportion. We’re afraid to lose and so we bend ourselves out of shape trying to win. And guess what — we want to win so badly, we end up losing.
Why not take a tip from the Babe? He knew he couldn’t hit 300 every day, so he didn’t bother trying. Instead, he just got up and kept swinging at every pitch. He never let the pressure get to him, because he knew how to shake it off — how to remain indifferent, unconcerned, unperturbed by it all. He let all the fuss and anxiety swirl around him, but he never took it on or took it in. To be perturbed is to “alter a normal state or path” — and that’s exactly what Babe Ruth avoided. He kept his eye on the ball (search “Babe Ruth” for other posts on his winning strategies).
Cultivating an enlightened sense of indifference can be as helpful a strategy to us as it was for the Babe. Why? Mainly because it offers three powerful benefits:
It keeps us centered: When we don’t let ourselves be thrown off balance by an agent’s rejection or a bad writing day, we rebound more quickly and easily. “The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” — whatever form they take — don’t pierce as deeply.
It keeps us calm: When we remain at ease with ourselves and unflustered by setbacks, we can get into our writing zone and enter a state of relaxation more easily and fully. And a relaxed mind is a creative mind.
It keeps us consistent: Instead of constantly shooting for a home run and straining ourselves by overreaching, we can go for consistency — working steadily and purposefully regardless of how we’re feeling and what’s happening around us. It’s this steady, gently energized approach that often leads to real breakthroughs.
My friend and mentor Dr. Rob Gilbert (Success Hotline: 973.743.4690) sums all this up simply: Make things important, but not special. When something is important to us, we value it and work hard at it. But when we make it special, we often tense up and our overanxious over-reaching can sabotage our efforts.
So let’s cultivate a little of the “don’t-care” habit as we write on.