circa 1960: A man stands in front of a blackboard illustrating the pi number. (Photo by Paul Almasy/BIPs/Getty Images)

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Numbers make the world go round. And some numbers are more psychological than logical. The mind is able to remember a lot of things but our most useful memory sensors handle some things better than others.

And when it comes to remembering things we are good at small groups that relate to each other.

A lot of the things we do and remember revolve around the number seven.

Seven What?

The seven deadly sins, Seven Wonders of the World, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, seven seas, seventh inning stretch, seven numbers in your phone number, and lucky seven in craps, to name just a few.

Numbers In Our Daily Lives

If your football team wins you might scream, “We’re Number ONE!” If you are a woman, and you’re hot, then you’re a “10.” Your favorite song might be, “Three Times a Lady.” Top 40 in music and Top 10 TV shows. Need information dial 411, bad things happening call 911.

All sports have a numeric scoring method. Players wear numbers; racehorses have numbers rather than names on them when they race. NSCARS are numbered.

We are more likely to know our favorite TV channel by the number rather than the call letters.

How far is it to the next town? — The roadside sign will tell you in the number of miles. What road are you on? More than likely it’s a numbered road rather than a name.

Numbers In Business

Years ago I worked for a company that had a very simple philosophy. Make seventy-five cold calls, find twenty people who will try your product and five will buy.

Most businesses rely on the 80-20 rule. Eighty percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers.

Hedge fund managers use the 2-20 rule to make their money. Two percent fees and 20 percent of the client’s earnings.

We watch the markets go up and down by number, the national debt, unemployment, and inflation, all are numeric measures.

Some Final Thoughts

“Fifty-four forty or fight,” “9/11,” “The Fourth Estate,” “December 7th,” “The War of 1812,” are just some of the many uses of numbers throughout our history.

Numbers have rallied us to causes, made us rethink how we relate to others, and score our successes and failures.

They are the signposts that help give our lives stability. Whether you are a have or a have not your position is more than likely measured numerically.

When our alarm clocks reach that pre-programed number we get up. Another number says it’s bedtime.

What numbers make your world go ‘round?

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