Still, the 11-item list was stronger than a long list. Then I said, “Could we combine any of these?” And that was the moment it changed. In less than 10 minutes we had three keys. In the time it took to drink a second cup of coffee, we had unlocked the door to the magic room.
It was scary. Could it really be this simple? We had three keys and everything fit. All the cylinders in the lock lined up. We could not believe it. Condensing the list of 11 into three keys made the concept a hundred times more powerful. The original 122 principles were all in there. If we made a list of 1,022 or even 1,000,022, it would all come back to these three keys. We were at once elated and frightened.
For the next year, we talked about the three keys. We searched for a possible fourth key. There were runners-up, to be sure, but none were essential. These runners-up were not transformational. They might change a person initially and stay with some people for a long time. But they weren’t like the three keys. They weren’t scary true.
We asked ourselves what would happen if there are only two keys. We measured each against the other. Each of these keys stood alone in their power to transform, but to remove one would be like removing one leg from a three-legged stool. All you had then was kindling for the fireplace.
For many months, we examined every encounter and measured them all by the three keys. We looked at our team and saw where the three keys were working, and, yes, we saw where they ...