Mind, body, soul
Curly, Larry, Moe
Sun, Earth, Moon
Maiden, Mother, Crone
Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost)
The other holy trinity (celery, onion, green bell peppers)
Lock, stock, and barrell
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow
Menage a trois
Red, white and blue
There is a strong, almost hardwired connection in our brains to relate to things that are grouped in threes.
Ear, nose and throat
Land, air, and sea
Stop, look, listen
Beginning, middle, and end
See the pattern? Artists know this, marketers know it, Hollywood screenwriters know it. Groups of three is a natural collection that allows the human brain to perceive that it has choices, but not so many choices as to lead to paralysis of analysis.
Left, right, center
Animal, vegetable, mineral
Life, liberty, happiness
Coffee, tea, or me?
One is the loneliest number, two’s company, but that doesn’t make three a crowd, not in our primitive, tribal minds. Three offers support, backup, security, intimacy, strength, flexibility, and variety. Three square meals, three musketeers, three wise men, Shakespeare’s three witches, Unforgiven’s three protagonists, Rome’s first triumvirate… History and culture manifests with powerful evidence the strength and advantage of the power of three.
Maybe there are ways for me to explore using this powerful number in my own personal and professional life. Limit my daily tasks to just three actionable things. Plan my diet around vegetables, fruits and meats, excluding more outrageous options. Three main vendors, consolidating my choices and freeing up time. Three ingredient smoothies, three loads of laundry, three options for vacations, then three activities on vacation.
It appeals to me for the strength of its simplicity. I’m an over-planner. I think to much. I wait for too much information before making a choice (unlike the work-me, who will cut the dust and make a decision – even a wrong decision – with no dallying). A three point plan for dealing with the mortgage company, the doctor, the lawn guy, my car registration… I can see this already having a more natural flow towards solution oriented planning.
Look for ways to use the Power of Three in my whole decision making process: 1. Handle myself; 2. Delegate downwards; 3. Ignore or reschedule. Keep three columns of productivity: Queued, Action, Finished.
Although using the Power of Three can streamline things for me, it does not have to limit things. With any three single-digit numbers, there are 1,000 possible combinations. Three colors, depending upon individual intensity, can produce 16.7 million color variations. Three actions, that each generate three actions of their own, that then each generate three actions of their own, result in over 1 billion actions in just 19 iterations. Amway knows this, viral diseases know this. Youtube knows this.
I should know more about this. I should learn how to maximize this. It is so ingrained into our consciousness that it should be easy.
As easy as A, B, and C 3 months ago