The Rule of Three

Daily Meditation #140 – 7/12/2022

“Well thank you, random magnets!”

“Oh stop!” you say as they insist on you being funny.
Or handsome.
Or well read.
Or good at speaking or planning or being charismatic.

And yet, you blush and act surprised.

How many of us have been given myriad compliments — often the same ones — over the years, yet this is our general reaction?
A dopey guffaw and an “Aw shucks, stop that!”

The “Rule of Three” is that when we are given the same compliment three times by three different people (and no, your mom doesn’t count), odds are increasingly good that it is true.

The same goes for negativity. If three separate times you’ve been called greedy or lazy or narcissistic, take heed — people are generally insightful and more unbiased about you that, well, you.

When given compliments — especially ones about our character — it pays to keep track of them. They can be an insightful way for us to track growth of our attributes. As you spend years working on writing or speaking or planning, you may find more instances of these sort of compliments. Take compliments. No more “AW SHUCKS!” and more “Thank you — I appreciate your kind words.”

What compliments or negativity have you been rained down upon with?

Follow for daily philosophical meditations.

These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”



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Lucas A. Davidson

Lucas A. Davidson

Born and raised a Yooper, I write daily philosophical meditations on Eudaimonia. These are distillations from my book on the topic!