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The Rule Of Three
by Michael Angier
The United States Marine Corp believes strongly in what they
call "The Rule of Three." They've found that implementing this
rule saves lives, gets more done faster and more efficiently.
An article on The Corp in INC. magazine says, "The rule dictates
that a person should limit his or her attention to three tasks
or goals. When applied to strategizing, the rule prescribes
boiling a world of infinite possibilities down to three
alternative courses of action. Anything more and a marine can
become overextended and confused. The marines experimented with
a rule of four and found that effectiveness plummeted."
I've always believed that three is a powerful number. We find it
in some very significant places. The most powerful physical
structure is a triangle or pyramid. In fact, it's the building
block of Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes and the Great
Pyramids of Egypt. For Christians--it's the Trinity: Father, Son
and Holy Spirit. And then, of course, we have Mind, Body,
Spirit. Three is a powerful number metaphysically--a number of
As we become immersed in the ocean of information,
possibilities, directions and the like, it becomes even more
important for us to focus on the things that are truly important
to us--the things that will make a difference in the quality of
Three things can easily be remembered. Any more than that and
retention suffers. We can all sharpen our focus and get better
results by using the Rule of Three in our daily lives.
Here Are A Few Ideas:
By making good use of the Rule of Three, you'll sharpen your
focus, increase your effectiveness and experience greater
fulfillment in all that you do.
- List the three most important values in your life. What's really
important to you? If you make this list, you'll place yourself
in the top one percent of all the people on the planet because
very few ever do this. Your decisions will become infinitely
easier because your values are clear.
- What are your three primary missions? These are different than
goals. Goals can be measured. They can be completed. A mission
is your vision of something that you'll never say is done--at
least not in this lifetime.
- Make a list of your three most important goals. It's great to
have lots of goals but which ones are worthy of your best
attention and efforts? Remember, you can have anything you want
in your life. You just can't have everything you want.
- What three things would you like to master? Three things at
which you want to become an expert. Maybe it's speaking in
public. Perhaps you want to learn another language. Or maybe you
want to become a masterful parent. It's your life and you get to
Copyright 2001 Michael Angier & Success Networks International.
Used with permision.
Michael Angier is the founder and president of Success Networks.
Success Net's mission is to inform, inspire and empower people
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