The number 7 triggers a positive emotion in many people. For many, 7 is a lucky number. Perhaps because it is immediately recognized by many people as a biblical, sacred number that symbolizes completeness. In Hindu tradition, the sun has 7 rays and in Islam, the number 7 symbolizes perfection. Furthermore, you come across the number in many places: there are 7 days in a week, the rainbow has 7 colors and Rome is built on 7 hills. Then there is, for example, the seventh heaven and there are the 7 continents.

That the number 7 is a favorite also has a psychological explanation. Suppose I ask you to think of a number under 10. You will (unconsciously) calculate. You probably already exclude the numbers 1 and 10. Just like 5 because this number is in the middle and therefore seems too obvious. Just like the even numbers 2, 4, 6 and 8. Then you are left with the numbers 3 and 7. You see that the brain usually prefers the highest number: 7.

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In the example

above, the number 3 is left together with 7. Do not be fooled. Second best does not apply here. In fact, the power of the magic number 3 may be even greater than that of 7.

How did that happen? Philosopher Aristotle discovered long, long ago that people find it easiest to remember 3 things. The chance that your readers process information better is therefore greater. I see 3 reasons for our love for the number 3.

  1. It is concise, so it is manageable and easier to remember.
  2. It has rhythm. Think of Veni-vidi-vici, Just do it and Deliciously Clear Heineken.
  3. It’s the smallest amount of information your brain can use to detect a pattern.

Do you still think that it is a coincidence that the number 3 appears in all kinds of sayings, fairy tales and stories? Like the VP Media Email Lists 3 little pigs, the 3 musketeers and Goldilocks and the 3 bears? Or 3 times is a charm, pot triples and the Holy Trinity (or better, the Holy 3 unit.

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