Why Do Good Things Always Happen In Threes?
Where did we ever come up with the idea that good things and bad things all happen in threes. How do we really decide what’s good enough to count as “good” or bad enough to count as “bad”. Those distant relatives that visited and decided to stay with you a week, is that good or bad. If they decide to head home early is that good, especially if they are your spouse’s relatives? Or, can we only count good or bad things that occur totally unexpectedly. The origin that good or bad things happen in a set number goes back to ancient times. Depending on the culture, the total number is different. (For more background on this go to – (http://articles.philly.com/1997-09-10/news/25550256_1_princess-diana-phillies-culture )
So getting back to my initial point, why do we want to set a limit on the number of good or bad things that happen to us in the foreseeable future?
It’s really all about setting a time frame for closure so that we can move on to the next segment of our life. We don’t like the idea of uncertainty and we always crave a sense of control. Even though we can’t control whether something good or bad will happen to us we want to feel that once something happens to us we can know with certainty what we can expect going forward; that there will be some finality to what type of events will happen to us in the near future.
What does this say about human nature? It really says we are continually trying to define what types of things are within our control and what types are out of our control. We are just trying to add one more item to the list of those things within our control. What can we learn about this?
- Work to understand what pieces of your life are in your control and work at improving how you positively deal with those pieces. Some of the things in your control:
- How you dress.
- Who you choose to interact with.
- Your attitude.
- The effort you put in at work.
- The effort you put in communicating with others.
- The time you spend worrying.
- Time you spend exercising.
- How you deal with daily stress.
- Work to reduce the extent to which you mentally and physically allow those pieces that you can’t control to impact your life. Some examples are:
- Concerns about how people interact with you.
- Concerns about your future health.
- Concerns about your future financial state.
- Potential for unforeseen events to occur.
- Your current boss at your current job.
- Don’t let unreasonable optimism or pessimism rule your life. Stay grounded in the notion that good and bad things will happen but they shouldn’t change your day to day outlook.
Remember there are big pieces to your life over which you direct the outcome and there are other areas that are outside your control. It’s your responsibility to take time to understand which is which. And while you’re at it, why not make it your goal to determine that good things will happen to you in threes and bad things will only happen in twos. Darn it, I just spilled my coffee on the new tablecloth. Well, one down one to go.