Three is memorable – 10 is perfect

Have you noticed of late how so many blog posts and articles are headed up with something like “the five lessons…” or “the 12 ways to fix…..” Mea culpa!!  I’ve just written a piece for LinkedIn called Are you unscrupulous? 11 questions to find out.

I have written as many posts as any other blogger – offering bite sized pieces to my readers. There is power in numbers. 10 is supposedly perfect – and we like to remember things in three.

It seems to have reached epidemic proportions. Is this part of the Utopia Complex that Hugh Mackay writes about in his new book ‘the Good Life’. He describes how western society has moved to be one that expects perfection. And the lack of perfection is causing people to feel sad, depressed and incomplete.

We are constantly bombarded with images of perfection (often enhanced with PhotoShop) in magazines, on billboards or at the movies. Movies have happy endings; which fuels our beliefs that ‘it will all be all right in the end’. Even food is presented as perfect! How did our fruit and veg become so beautiful, without a blemish?

So now that I have established the problem we are faced with – that as we pursue perfection we have not become happier – in fact quite to the contrary.

Has the way we learn and consume information become the same – we want to consume as much as we can, as quickly as we can, with as much clarity… another words we are simply wanting the perfect ‘answer.’ Rather than the story or argument that supports the debate.

I wish I have a dollar for every time I’d been asked the questions “Just tell me the one thing that made you the success that you are today?” – the answer is lot’s of hard work… but that is not really one answer.

One of my colleagues much prefers to read the summaries of books than the real deal… “quicker, faster, more.” She explains.

I don’t know if this is a trend that will go away, in the same way as I’m sure PhotoShop is here to stay when it comes to image enhancement.

So did I lure you into reading this post with my headline ‘10 things…’ and now you are looking for them and can’t find them.

I simply ask the question – ‘Is life richer and more fulfilling having information presented in bite sized pieces?’

What if the ‘10 things’ is missing 11 through 22 – but for editorial purposes ‘10’ sounds better?

So here is my challenge of you my dear reader. If you read a post with a numeric heading…. please add a comment if you think they have missed a point! And I expect the same of my posts.

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