Rule #1


“Last year someone gave me a charming book by Roger Rosenblatt called ‘Ageing Gracefully’…I did not appreciate the title at the time but it contains a series of rules for ageing gracefully. The first rule is the best. Rule number one is that ‘it doesn’t matter.’ ‘It doesn’t matter that what you think. Follow this rule and it will add decades to your life. It does not matter if you are late or early, if you are here or there, if you said it or didn’t say it, if you are clever or if you were stupid. If you were having a bad hair day or a no hair day or if your boss looks at you cockeyed or your boyfriend or girlfriend looks at you cockeyed, if you are cockeyed. If you don’t get that promotion or prize or house or if you do – it doesn’t matter.’ Wisdom at last.”

~ Milton Glaser, Ten Things That I Have Learned

Milton Glaser, 84, is among the most celebrated graphic designers in the United States. He has had the distinction of one-man-shows at the Museum of Modern Art and the Georges Pompidou Center. In 2004 he was selected for the lifetime achievement award of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. As a Fulbright scholar, Glaser studied with the painter, Giorgio Morandi in Bologna, and is an articulate spokesman for the ethical practice of design. He opened Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974, and continues to produce an astounding amount of work in many fields of design to this day. (Source:

Credits: Quote Source: – Ten Things That I Have Learned. Portrait: Sam Haskins


  1. I believe that is true, you know…and, unfortunately, we don’t get that until we’ve spent a whole lot of years thinking that it DOES matter. All of that stuff really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that we live our lives with an open heart…that is what I believe.


  2. Yes “it doesn’t matter” because nothing is promised in this life.


  3. This one got me thinking David. On the one hand it sounds a very wise thing to say, and I can see how useful it is. I think over the years I have veered towards this position, but I am not fully there yet.

    Not sure I ever will be, because if you live life fully with this attitude, surely you run the risk of impacting negatively on others? Surely it DOES matter if you’re late, and as a result you ruin it for everyone else. It DOES matter if you said caused offence. And so on and so on.

    So, I think I need some convincing to swallow this one whole.

    Or am I missing something?


  4. I’m with Michael on this one, pal. I think if you take this advice with a grain of salt, or perhaps with a twist, it makes sense. I interpret it as saying “Don’t take yourself too seriously. In the grand scheme of things, you are but a speck.” So while I don’t think one should be oblivious to the needs of others, or our obligations to “hold up our end of the contract” so to speak, I also don’t think we should labor under the illusion that everything’s about us–’cause it ain’t. ;-/ whew….all that on my first cup of coffee….


  5. I am feeling so affirmed! I’ll have to inform everyone I’m not as thoughtless a clod as most of us suspected — I’m simply ageing gracefully! — but is it alright if chocolate matters??


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