Ten essential numbers you need to know to be successful, and why

May 26th, 2008

Numbers make the world go around. Here are ten digits that form the foundation for success. Mastering these can enrich not only your professional life, but your personal one as well. The path to successful integer management is not hard and you can start today. Many common mistakes can be avoided by mastering these ten digits. Once you have these down, you can put them together in various ways to improve your personal mathematics, unleash success, and accomplish your life goals. Remember: you are in control.

nine. Often confused for a six, nine is significant partly because it’s the largest single digit integer. Don’t listen to people who try to muddy he issue by talking about other bases — you are living in a base 10 world. Or should be. Nine is a perfect square, to boot. It’s a keeper.

eight. Crazy, some say, but as a child I developed a soft spot for this snowman of an integer. When I learned that it was two cubed, I knew it was special.

seven. Lucky seven. Seven-up. 7-11. Seventh son of a seventh son. Need we say more?

six. Wikipedia sums it up nicely: “6 (six) is the natural number following 5 and preceding 7.” It has found its niche and is a perfect fit.

five. Now five is definitely odd and considered untouchable, a combination that some find unique. You need five for a basketball team and, well, just look at one of your hands or feet.

four. Lots of things come in fours: bridge games; corners on a a square; Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice; and apocalyptic horsemen. Most vehicles have four wheels.

Now we are moving into the inner sanctum. Study the digits that follow carefully. They appear simple but are ancient and powerful.

three. Very mysterious and very special: the holy trinity, the three parts of the soul (appetitive, spirited, rational), the three faces of Eve, and the last stop, for some, before infinity. If you can come up with an theory that identifies the three fundamental aspects of your subject, you will have a deep theory indeed.

two. Two is like three only more plain spoken: equally powerful and fundamental without the supernatural pretensions. Once you master the hammer of two, you will see many nails to apply it to. It allows us to separate things (good and evil, yin and yang) or combine them (to tango, or in a dialectic).

one. Representing a a single entity, one is loneliest number that you’ll ever do.

zero. Nothing. An amphibian between being and non-being. Better than a ham sandwich. But when paired with one, we get two, and you are off and running.

Now that you’ve seen the ten top digits, you’re probably wondering how you should approach their study. The traditional approach is bottom up: start with the smaller ones and work up. But we’ve found that starting with nothing can be discouraging and is a common reasons for failure. So, we recommend the 1-2-3 plan: start with one on the first day, add two on the second, and move on to three on the third. On days four through six you should review and drill, drill drill. rest on the seventh day. Repeat this for the next two weeks, covering 4-5-6 and 7-8-9. The you are ready to cycle back and contemplate that great amphibian of a number, zero.