The best decision making tool #HTipT #176

The rule of 3 helps you make better logical decisions.
This tip explains why and teaches you how to apply the rule of 3.



Video Transcript:

This week, I’m sharing an awesomely simple decision-making tool. I’m John Paul Fischbach. I’m the CEO and Chief Alchemist here at the Auspicious Arts Incubator. I learned this particular tip years ago but I just came across it again yesterday and I thought, “Oh my God, I have to share this with you.” It’s so simple and so cool. It’s called the Rule of Three. Before deciding on a course of action, come up with three alternatives.

So, you know, when I learned this, I had to hear it three different ways. The first way I heard about it was from a fabulous therapist named Virginia Satir, and she said, “To have one choice is no choice. To have two choices is a dilemma and to have three choices offers new possibilities.” Cool, I get that. Another mentor was Jerry Weinberg and Jerry said that if you can’t think of three things that might go wrong with your plan then there’s something wrong with your thinking.

That’s a cool way to think about this. And the third, and I can remember who this was, said that if you don’t have three options for a solution to a problem, you don’t understand the problem. You don’t understand it well enough yet. Spend some more time. Okay. So, I think you can see, looking at those three different ways that I learned this, how this Rule of Three is helpful. Now, some decisions that we make in the creative industries are absolutely intuitive. You know exactly how this is going to happen. Right? But sometimes, we have to make decisions that are more logical, that are not necessarily intuitive based.

Well, you can reduce the possibility of a poor decision caused by a hasty response by employing the Rule of Three. So, applying the Rule of Three, you know, it can be hard to apply the Rule of Three sometimes especially in a stressful situation. Sometimes, I really have a hard time resisting acting on the first idea that pops into my head because I have such a need to solve the problem and quickly move on.

So, here are three ways that help me apply the Rule of Three. So, I give them to you. One is to get some help to come up with these options. When I’m under pressure, the first thing that I do now is ask for people to help me brainstorm. I say to someone, “Great. Let me just think this out loud,” and I enlist their help to come up with alternatives because two or more heads are way better than one. The second thing you can do is to notice the number of options that you normally consider.

When you make one of those logical decisions reflect back and go, “Well, how many options did I think there were? One? I went with that one option. Maybe I thought there were two. Were they three?” Okay. The third thing is just practice. As with making changes in all of your life, practice, practice, practice and you’re going get better at it. So, what I want you to do this week is to commit to apply the Rule of Three to problems that you encounter for three days.

Okay. Then I just want you to evaluate the results. So, I want to do this, apply the Rule of Three. Any decisions that are logical decisions, you know, I want you to come up with three alternatives. Figure out three things that could go wrong. Figure out three things that open up opportunities. Try it for three days. Then what I need you to do is to reflect back then and say, well, how and under what kind of conditions or circumstances did the Rule of Three work for you.

Because as creative people, we know that sometimes it’s our intuition and we have to let that go, but sometimes this gets in our way. So, when the problem or the solution seems to be based in logic, the really important thing is to use the Rule of Three. So, check it out this week and I’ll see you next week for another hot tip.

If you wanna go into greater depth about this Rule of Three and how to use it, then you need to consider joining the ASAP Program, because every week I go into greater detail with these tips. All right. When you need real practical help, check us out at

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