Three

“I follow three rules: Do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care.”      Lou Holtz

Do you believe there is anything special about the number 3?  Some say it is magical. Others suggest a spiritual connection. Even if you find nothing special about the number 3, you are aware of frequent references to it.

Here are some examples:

  • Mind, body and spirit
  • The Wizard of Oz movie themes: Brains, Courage and Heart
  • Earth, wind and fire
  • Three-legged stool of a Cursillo retreat: study, piety and action (many years ago, I attended one of these retreats)
  • Primary Colors: red, blue and yellow
  • The Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit (a belief of Christianity)
  • The three petals of the Iris flower in ancient Egypt symbolically stood for faith, wisdom and courage
  • The Three Wise Men (biblical Magi)
  • Three-leaf clover (the three leaves of a shamrock stand for faith, hope and love)
  • Howard Thurston’s three principles in magic (the magician who led the largest magic show in history, and who is said to be superior to his rival, Harry Houdini)
  • Three sides of a triangle

The historical use of the number 3 is huge. It would take more than a few blogs just to summarize the significance it holds.  Greek mythology alone is infused with many ‘three’themes.  You are familiar with numerous examples. Some may be specific to your family or a particular organization in which you are involved.

Three has been an important number in my own life. It was the number of principles that became the foundation for my life success formula, The BETBelief, Enthusiasm and Team. Ten years after pitching a pivotal baseball game at the age of 10, these three principles became providential in the architecture of my personal and professional life. The success I have enjoyed was the product of possessing a great attitude(belief), employing passion, and utilizing the help of others.

When my two daughters were young girls and socializing with friends, I always had one mandate: Be sure to do three things to help their friend’s parents while in their home. When they returned home from an outing, their mother, Carol, and I would ask, “Did you do three things?”  It was a great teaching tool for them. It also served as a reminder to me – did I practice all three principles of my success formula that day? Did I have a great attitude? Was I passionate? Did I seek and capitalize on the help of others, my team?

Today, I use the number 3 in speaking presentations. My central message is usually supported by three core elements. I have been an audience participant when some speakers try to present 10 key ideas. As expected, it just does not work. The average person is not going to retain 10 new elements of action. It is much easier and practical to remember three new possibilities. And with three, the speaker is providing a tool that will actually help those listening.

Here are some challenging ‘three answers’questions:

  • What three goals have you established (or need to set) that will forever change your life?
  • What three letters do you need to write while you are alive and capable? Who are the people who will receive these letters? What will you say? (Read my blog, The Letter)
  • What three characteristics would you like others to use in describing you? What do you need to do to more accurately represent this description in your life?
  • What are your three rules for living a successful life? (Read Repetition)

I could construct an endless number of similar questions. But, far more important, are the significant questions youcould create – those that would make the most difference in your life.

If you were the coach tasked with coaching you, what are the three most important questions you would ask?

. . . Hmm . . .

If you are having any difficulty with coming up with your pertinent questions, perhaps these may help you:

  • What can I do really well?
  • What am I most passionate about doing? (Read my blog, Wow!)
  • Am I currently doing something that I am good at doing and love?
  • What is one main goal that I am capable of achieving that would transform my life? What are the steps needed to accomplish this goal? What is the first step? When shall I begin? (Reading Small Steps will help you get started)
  • Who has had a great impact on my life? Have I told them?

 In the next five years, there are three goals, when achieved, will forever alter my life – transform it – forever change it!

These three goals are . . .

Today, I will start by . . .