The rule of three

Akash Bhattacharya
2 min readSep 3, 2021

Lets explain the rule of three

We always get caught in “too many”. Be it a life changing decision or a simple shopping list. Your attention is minimal and it vanishes with split of a second. Hence , its quite important to focus of what’s really important(read as what’s really prioritized).

Three is not too little, not too much, it’s just right — The Goldilocks Principle

Photo by Jack Hunter on Unsplash


Chris Voss in his book Never Split the Difference, wrote -

The first time they agree to something or give you a commitment, that’s №1. For №2 you might label or summarize what they said so they answer, “That’s right.” And №3 could be a calibrated “How” or “What” question about implementation that asks them to explain what will constitute success, something like “What do we do if we get off track?”


A brilliant example of this focus three is Steve Jobs’s commencement address at Stanford in June 2015. He started the speech with

I am honoured to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

He then went on to tell three stories. The first was about connecting the dots, the second was about love and loss, and the third was about death.


Being a big fan of James Clear quotes. One of my fav one is as below with connection to three -

In summary, when you look at list of only three items, it is not overwhelming or daunting: it’s easily doable.

Now, pls recall. How many examples did I share in this post ?

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Akash Bhattacharya

Software Product Maintenance. Writes about #book, #people, #product, #productivity