The Rule of Three

Have you ever heard of the rule of three?  Some refer to it as the power of three and aside from the Christian based connotations – such as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – there is a favoured principle of behaviour and thought that exists here.  

Consider the socially expressed idea that some things happen in threes or the predominant choice for three-standing awards: first, second, and third.  It has been used effectively to define time: past, present, and future or beginning, middle, and end. It has been used deliberately in literature where balanced perspective plays an important role in the stories being told: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Amigos, and the three witches in Macbeth.  Three has come to represent harmony, balance and even wisdom.  All three of which are supportive skills to put into practice when writing through anxiety. 

There is a writing principle that is founded upon the notion of rule of three.  It states that things are “inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective” when displayed in sets of three’s.  When ideas are presented in groups of three they provide a pattern and a rhythm that better allows the audience to take in what is being said.  In my experience, and even in habit, I have found this to be very true.

In fact, without meaning to, I have captured my thoughts in bulleted points of three quite often.  Sometimes to the point of frustration, where any attempt to move onto a fourth is incredibly uncomfortable.  Three has a special effect on much of what my pen capture on a page.  I long ago embraced its influence when trying to write through my more anxious thoughts and moments.  It has brought calm to the chaos in my head more times that I can count.  

Would you like to give it a try?  Pull out your pen and paper.  Find that quiet space and breathe deeply.  Then press play on the link below, which will provide you with 3 hours of beautiful calming music to help centre your thoughts.  Once you feel yourself focusing more on yourself, once you grow unaware of your surroundings, start to write by answering these three questions (below) and see if they lead you anywhere interesting.     

1.    What are the three predominant thoughts in your mind at this moment?
2.    List three moments that made you smile today.
3.    What three ways can you help to strengthen yourself for tomorrow?

Photo Credit: Melodi2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Video Credit: Meditation Relax Music


Jenn ‘Niffer’ Fryer is a mother, a wife and a writer, enthusiastically scribing her way through life as it continues to entertain her pen.  Currently in her second year at Algonquin College’s Professional Writing program, Jennifer is actively putting her skills as a writer to positive and affecting use, both in her community and beyond.

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