7 is the Number to Remember for 2010 and Beyond


In today’s time of fast changes and quick resolutions, stick to 7, the number for happiness, love and success – 7 simple ways to a smarter, simpler life, 7 ways to define time, synthesize ideas, and keep your mind performing in an era of distractions, 7 wonders of the world, 7 or less ingredients to a fine meal, 7 habits of highly effective people, and so goes the list.

The picture above is the cover of the book I’m currently reading – “7, the Number for Happiness, Love, and Success.” In a pleasant time to contemplate on what’s in store for this new year, here are 7 simple ways to a smarter, simpler life for the new year:

YES: Ask for help, pay for help, or say yes to an offer of help.

NO: Learn how to say no to too many social engagements, too many favors, too many extra projects at work; too many irrelevant solicitations from spammers and direct mailers.

STOP: The clock. Life isn’t a 24/7 merry-go-round. If it were, you wouldn’t get the seven hours of sleep necessary to keep you fit and sane.

GO: Keep in shape with an exercise routine you can stick to.

START: Use technology so it doesn’t use you up. Online banking, for instance, will save you time, money, and stress because your mortgage will paid automatically.

END: Clear the clutter, trash the trivial stuff. Get organized.

BE: Make time for friends, lovers, family. Learn how to breathe and daydream. Be your true self and find your humanity.

7 is a perfect number – not too many, not too few. Research finds that making too many choices impairs self-control. They determined that making a choice uses the same brain resources that are used for self-control and active responding. The more people are forced to make choices among too many options, the less they were able to meet deadlines, possess physical stamina, or soldier on against adversity. In short, too many choices paralyzes people.

Keeping all your options is called “irrational excitement.” Why irrational? In another study made using a computer game, when the students of the study were given the equivalent of a “cheat sheet,” the results did not differ from the original outcomes without a cheat sheet. The study revealed they experienced losing options as an emotional loss. They became prisoners of their own choices.

There’s an old joke about a new immigrant (to the United States) who was learning to speak English. He would stop at a coffee shop each day and order the same thing: apple pie and coffee. One day his friend said in their native toungue, “Why don’t you try a little variety? Order a ham sandwich and coffee.” The newcomer was grateful for the advise. So the next day he went to the coffee shop and told the waitress, “Ham sandwich and coffee.” She said, “Do you want that on white or rye?” He replied, “Apple pie and coffee.”

Why is Google the dominat search engine today when it was launched four years after Yahoo already existed? Check both their home pages and you’ll find out why. K.I.S.S. ?

7 – it’s a too (or a number to use) to improve the quality of your life, it’s culturally significant, it’s intriguing, it’s influential, and it’s practical.

Source: 7 – The Number for Happiness, Love and Success; by Jacqueline Leo. 1st Ed, December 2009.

Photo by “Wishard of Oz” at Flickr.com


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