My new lifehack rule: Three times = action
October 3, 2007
How we process the information that comes to us is a curious thing. I mean, we are bombarded with information through all kinds of channels, targeted at all our senses, that we somehow know how to manage. Apparently, we see more images now each day, than people who lived a few hundred years back saw in their entire life!
Most of this information we filter out (a necessary and healthy strategy), but that comes with a risk of ignoring something that could actually be incredibly interesting. I noticed a while back though, that if I’m confronted with a word, concept, product or something like that, repeatedly (without it being advertisements) it leads me to look into it further.
This is a very logical and completely unsurprising conclusion, but if you are conscious of it, you can actually enforce it on purpose. And that’s what I do now.
An example: Let’s say I overheard someone talking about an obscure author on Friday; happened to see an interview with that author on Saturday and saw the book in a bookstore few days later. Normally, I might or might not do something with this, but I now have a new rule:
3 times means action.
So if I get confronted with something three times during a short period, I force myself to look into it (in this case, I bought the book). This way, I force myself not to think about if something fits my interests, and add an element of surprise… which goes perfectly with the whole comfort zone story! An added advantage is that automatically you follow most trends :-)
After a while you start to see the most weirdly interesting things, just because you have a somewhat randomly seeded, objective filter of what to look into, despite your frame of reference.
I know it sounds stupid and futile, but it’s cool! :-)