For most of us, the ideal number of things to focus on seems to be
Not sure why, but when we exceed three areas of focus or attention,
we tend to get overwhelmed.
Three is a “magical” number. From ancient times, it has been imbued
with mystical qualities.
You see it in many facets of life today. For example:
-In Christianity, we have the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy
-Sanchin kata – meaning “three conflicts” – is a fundamental form
in certain traditional martial arts, including Uechi Ryu (a
fighting art I have a black belt in and have studied over the
years) and other Okinawan and Southern Chinese styles. Sanchin
also refers to “mind, body, spirit” and the three basic conflicts
we each face in our lives on a daily basis.
-Here in the U.S., our Republican government is organized into
three branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial.
-The rule of thumb for delivering an effective presentation or
speech is to organize it around three key points.
-The other rule of thumb for delivering an effective presentation
or speech is to convey your three key points at three different
times: tell them what you are going to talk about; talk about
your key points; then summarize what you just presented.
-My lucky number has always been three. My birth date is a
multiple of three (including the month, the date, the year…
AND all three combined). When playing sports, I always wore a
number which was a multiple of three. In high school and college,
this was “21”.
The number 21 was lucky for me EXCEPT FOR junior year softball,
when I dove for a tough hit (I played left field), fell
awkwardly, and broke my left arm. (I caught the ball though!)
Despite this one “exception that proves the rule”, I have
many other examples of how the number three imbues luck,
certainty and advantage into my life. That’s my story and
I’m sticking to it!
Now, how does this apply to you?
Maybe you also believe that three, or some multiple of three,
is your lucky number. Maybe you too have seen this pattern
play out in weird, wacky, sometimes wonderful ways.
Whether you have or not, you can put the power of three to work
for you at anytime, to help you achieve better results in any
area of your life.
As an example, I organize my life around three major areas:
-Family and community (I further subdivide this into my
immediate family, extended family, and community involvement);
-Business, career and finances;
-Personal development and improvement (which includes health
and fitness, self improvement and learning, AND spiritual
Although I have many interests, I find it easier and more
effective to use these three areas as the focal points for
my life. Something has to fit in these areas to get attention.
Often one or more areas overlaps.
Similarly, I organize my programs and the way I teach with
three primary areas in mind: body, mind and spirit.
Each of these is critical to a happy and successful and
meaningful life. Each intersects and interacts with the other,
to the point of being dependent on each other. I mean, you
can’t have triangle without all three sides.
Likewise, any health and fitness program should address all
three of these areas, so you’re doing more than just moving
around and sweating. You’re improving from the inside out,
as well as the outside in.
(Plus it’s more fun when you’re fully engaged in what you are
Now, let’s talk more specifically about your health and
fitness program. A powerful way to organize your efforts is
around these three areas:
-Aerobic and anaerobic capacity (heart and lungs)
-Strength and power
-Flexibility and resilience
This construct provides a very effective way to organize
your program. If you touch these three areas in each workout,
or cycle through each area a couple times each week, you
have yourself a well-rounded and highly effective program.
I’ve found that the power of three works in another way –
in the dimension of time (the “fourth” dimension).
When you embark on a program of improvement – be it physical,
educational, work-related – you’ll typically experience a
delay in results.
It’s been my experience that it generally takes about three
weeks – 21 days – to begin to see and feel significant
I’ve experienced this in my own training and also seen it
with those I’ve trained or worked with.
With a well constructed program, you may begin to FEEL
better early on. But you may not see results right away,
in terms of pounds lost, reduction in waist size, increase
in strength, and so forth.
This is one of the main reasons people get discouraged and
don’t stick to their fitness or health programs.
Don’t let this derail you! Give it time – give it at least
I promise, if you stick it out and work your program, within
three weeks (21 days) you will begin to see – and FEEL –
significant improvements in your health, energy levels and
This also pertains to work and educational settings. For
example – and this is going back years now, but….
When I first started out in the financial services industry,
I worked for Citibank as an account executive. Our job
was to win new customers, as well as keep existent
customers happy. We were paid a small base salary, so most
of our compensation (which could be quite good) was
This basically meant that, if I wanted to make good money,
I had to get off my duff and do a better job prospecting for
qualified leads, talk to more people, get better at sales,
provide excellent service so my customers loved me (and
recommended me to others), and so forth.
Whenever I got serious about this, I focused on an area to
improve, buckled down an dgot to work…it took about three
weeks – 21 days – to begin seeing the results of my renewed
effort, or of the new strategy or technique I was testing or
I knew if I just stuck with it through those first few
weeks, I would get results. Results in terms of new deals in,
happier customers, more closed deals, higher commission checks.
It never failed. It always happened.
This was a critical experience for a young lady just starting
out in the work world. It held the seeds of a very important
The virtues and rewards of working hard, being willing to
take a risk or two, and being willing to push yourself
to get better and better.
Put the “Power of Three” to work for you, starting today.
“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with
Dynamic Energy Exercise!”
P.S. Whether you want to lose weight and look and feel
better…or improve your breathing and stamina so you have
more energy…or take control and transform the stress
in your life….I’ve got the programs that can help you.
For more information on specific programs available at
the Best Breathing Exercises site, visit
http://www.bestbreathingexercises.com – and get started
Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2013