The 3-Day Rule

by Ben Perreira

We’ve all heard of the 3-day rule. When a guy gets a girl’s phone number he’s supposed to wait three days before calling her as not to appear desperate. I think it’s bad advice so I’m going to hijack the term.

Most people I regularly hang out with (work included) are pretty damn passionate about something. It may be production, photography, writing, psychology, sports, or anything else. They don’t have time to do things that aren’t extremely captivating.

In order to live one’s life with this brand of gusto, one much put one’s ego on the line. The confidence that comes from small successes sustains us day-to-day, but a desire for something greater in the long term is more suitably nourished by ego. Success is partially a function of luck, which is itself a function of fucking up less frequently than you did previously. Ergo, success begets success. 

Sometimes, however, people of passion fail. When passionate people fail it shakes them to their core. It is much worse than physical pain, the likes of which they have likely endured many times on the road to previous successes.

Here’s where the 3-day rules comes into play. Whether the failure is professional, personal, sports-related, romantic, or other, three days appears to be the appropriate time to recover. The general succession:

Day 1: Bewilderment

Day 2: Licking wounds

Day 3: Learning and planning for the next time

When the founder of Mint.com was developing the product he encountered failure on a daily basis, usually by himself. He used to play Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life” to remind him to collect himself and move on.

For the passionate, fervent and maniacal among us, old blue eyes’ message does the trick.

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