The “3 more” Principle

A few years ago I got into the habit of having routine workouts at the gym. There comes a time in every ones life when you get tired of moving around with those extra pounds. It was that time for me, but man, gym was really hard! I dreaded everything!

The treadmill, the aerobics classes, the pushups, sit-ups, walking lunges! Every morning I would pack my gym bag with dread. It was awful. I would literary hear voices in my head loudly saying “you don’t have to do this, come on, you can relax today,”


The sessions with my coach were not any better, he was tough. But since I was desperate and wanted to loose all the extra weight, I chose to endure in order to see changes and adopt healthy habits.


My trainer would count as I did those sit-ups. Give me 10! Then he would start counting from 1 as I desperately waited for the sound of 10 so that I could rest. After about week or so, when I had just got used to 10 counts, he added 3 more. I would employ everything within me to pull off those evil “3 more”.


I remember once, I stopped and asked him why he kept adding, “3 more”? Could you please stick to 10 and not add me more at the end?”  I pleaded in desperation. He looked at me and said this; “Well it is those extras that count”.

He explained, that the body gets used to 10, and if I wanted to see any change, it is those extra that would be responsible for conditioning the body to loose more calories, weight, and building muscles! Not the 10 that the body was accustomed to. 

You may wonder what this has to do with leadership and personal growth. I always share this lesson I learned through sweat with all my clients. If you do what you have always done you will get what you have always got!

If you want to see change in your career, personal, leadership life, or any other aspect of your life, you have to do things differently; stretch some more, experience some level of discomfort, disrupt your thinking and routines, then sit back and watch your growth spring up.

The truth is that, growth starts at the end of your comfort zone. And comfort zones are not comfortable in the end. We are made to evolve as humans; You’re either moving forward or backward, you are either growing or dying, there is no other way around this! Harvard business reviews says that our degrees have a 5-year life span.

I have worked with clients who look very successful on the surface, but who have hit the comfort zones. It is not a place I wish for anyone with a thirst for growth. I have been there my self, and if, like me you believe that your situation can be better, then it not a feeling you want to keep, that feeling of being stuck that robes you of your freedom to move and to grow!

I decided to call this lesson “ the 3 more principle” 

Here is the question for you. What are you learning to day that you did not know yesterday? What are doing today differently? When was the last time you invested in improving yourself? What are your “3 more” activities must you include to push yourself to growth?.

The Author is an Independent Certified Coach, Trainer and Speaker with the John Maxwell Team.

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