Numbers loom large in our lives.
We commemorate birthdays and anniversaries in numbers of years. We monitor wealth in number of dollars. We even categorize our state of being via numbers: IQ, BMI, HDL.
Certain numbers are more popular than others. Take the number “3.” We’re conditioned to “think in 3s,” which explains why we use expressions like “Top three reasons…” or “Three examples…” Angry parents rely on “3.” My father, when upset, never said, “I’m going to count to four;” I’m guessing yours didn’t either.
One is a “power number” too, so when I woke up New Year’s day and noted the date, 1.1.11, I thought, “How cool!” Only nine times per century is every numeral in a date identical. My first “matched set” was 5.5.55 – but I was too young to fully appreciate it. Should I get a second chance in these next 100 years, I assure you there will be extreme gratitude.
However, 1.1.11 caused me to ponder, “Is there special significance from four “1”s? Might there be a cosmic sign in the only year that truly begins at the beginning? I’m not superstitious; but what about lucky numbers? What could “1.1.11” be trying to communicate?
In binary “1111” is “15.” Maybe this year’s providential number is 15? However, with the exception of the Fiesta Quinceañera, “15” doesn’t show up much in our society.
So, I turned to numerology. In full disclosure, numerology is a topic about which I know zero (an unfortunate “power number). I could not tell my Soul Urge Number from my street address. But, I believe there is a lot of adding numerals together (or maybe there isn’t; like I said I really know nothing about it). Either way, that’s what I did. I added 1+5 from “15” to get “6” which seemed more probable than “15.” After all, it’s literally in the top ten of numbers. (Why don’t we say “Top Nine” or “Top 11?” See… there we go again…)
Yet, if I’m adding, why not use the sum of all the ones? Wouldn’t that make more sense? So, “4” must be the positive omen we need for the next 365 days.
Oy! Now I’m confused. We have three promising numbers: 15, 6, 4. Add those and the result is “25.” Two+5=7. Seven could work; that feels right. But “7” is so commonplace and run of the mill; everybody and their brother uses “lucky 7.”
Maybe I’m working this too hard. It’s obvious. Staring me right in the kisser is the solution; it’s a great big honkin’ “ONE.” And if we’re looking at a new year as an opportunity to change, “1” squares perfectly with it. Most people do not achieve their goals (or “resolutions” if you insist) not because they’re too small, but for the opposite reason: they make too many of them and they’re ridiculously complicated. With great intention, but poor planning, they devise 46-step action plans, with options, timetables, flow-charts, and alternatives. Who has time to keep track of all that? The result? We get overwhelmed and intimidated. We feel bad and when that happens, we give up, feeling it’s more trouble than it’s worth, which is usually true. So, nothing happens. It’s a horrible vicious cycle we repeat year after year.
To counter that, what’s simpler than “1”?
If “1.1.11” is an omen, it’s telling us “simplify.” Pick ONE thing each day. Do it until completion. Repeat as necessary. After all, ONE goal here and ONE goal there done well can really add up to ONE happy life.
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(Note this is an updated and re-written version of a post I did on New Year’s day. This version is printed in the newspapers so I modified it for a more general audience. If you would like to read the earlier version you can go here.)