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Power Of Three

During childhood, the Power of Three captured your imagination without you even realising it. This week I share how influential it has been and how inspiring it can be in the future.

The number three was important, inspiring, and influential in many parts of early years’ development. Parents would sing Three Blind Mice to keep us entertained and read fantastic fairy tales at bedtime, including Goldilocks and the Three Bears and the Three Little Pigs. In both stories, there were three options for the main character to choose from. Renowned cartoon maker Walt Disney presented three good fairies in Sleeping Beauty and Donald Duck’s nephews: Huey, Louie, and Dewey. The number three was everywhere.

This pattern carried on into education, with three primary colours in Art and the three fundamental sciences being Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. Mathematics taught you about triangles and Pythagoras’ Theorem, and the history books quote Veni, Vidi, Vici – We Came, We Saw, We Conquered.

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Image: Sandro Katalina

As people move into adulthood, when anything untoward happens, everyone reminds you that everything comes in threes. You give blood, sweat, and tears to get that project over the line, and when choosing a new home, it is all about location, location, location.

It doesn’t stop there, as advertisers and slogan writers love the Power of Three. The Green Cross Code Man taught you to Stop, Look, and Listen. Nike told you Just Do It, and you cannot beat the Snap, Crackle, and Pop of Rice Krispies.

The Power of Three is everywhere!

But why three?

Why not one or two?

Why is three the magic number? And how can it inspire you again?

Let’s explore why. First up, good old number one.  Signifying the first time, something special, but it is only ever at that specific moment. Your first words, first steps, or first attempt at driving are all fantastic achievements, but you can only have the first time, well, once. All the time, you are ticking tasks off your to-do list of life as you go.

Two is the binary number, signifying a choice between two options. Yes or No. Right or Wrong. Heads or Tails. That’s all just a little bit boring.

But with three, that’s when the magic happens. You can start creating basic patterns that engage your mind and body, enabling you to complete tasks, solve problems and form new habits. Let’s delve into why this is the case.


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Image: Hal Gatewood

Your brain loves patterns, using them to solve problems, predict outcomes and learn new skills. You could say it is your very own internal Power of Three. So, it won’t come as a surprise that the brain has three main parts.

Cerebrum (the front)

The most significant part, it’s how you remember, think, and feel.

Cerebellum (the back)

Under the cerebrum, just the back of the skull, this controls balance and coordination.

The Brain Stem (the middle)

Sitting beneath the cerebrum, in front of the cerebellum, this is the mother ship. It regulates the heart rate and, amongst other functions, your breathing, sleeping, and eating. It’s one end of the information superhighway between the body and the brain.

A list of three has distinct characteristics: a start, a middle, and an end, which provides a natural rhythm when reciting it and makes it more likely to be committed to memory. It is no coincidence that some of the best speechwriters use what they call ‘The Rule Of Three’ when creating campaign slogans. Just take these three examples, Britain Deserves Better (UK Labour Party, 1997), Yes We Can (Barack Obama, 2008), or Strong and Stable (UK Conservative Party, 2017).

In a 1967 speech, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr described it as the three dimensions of a complete life: length, breadth, and height.


Searching out your inner power, learning to love yourself properly, and in his words, ‘having the inward concern for one’s welfare.’


You turn the view outward, focusing your concern on other people.


This stage is where you seek out hope, meaning, or achievement.

Always return to the Power of Three to help you focus on creating new habits, perhaps using the technique I shared last week. These newly formed patterns can that deliver sustainable change to your life and business.

Creating a new success story in the process.

What’s your power of three?

Have a brilliant week!

David Rogers, Chief Business Narrator, Fuelled Fit and Fired Up Ltd

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