The curse of counting

A patience consuming exercise which can create fantastic group attention.




  1. Concentration
  2. Create peace
  3. Create a group focus


5 - 10 minutes

Group size

Best suited for group size 3 to 16


  1. Stand in a circle. Look all toward the centre of the circle and see if you can gather your collective focus there.
  2. You must now collectively count to 21. This means that you count one after the other, but not in a specific order. You count when you think there is “room” for it. You start by saying: "1". Anyone can now say "2".
  3. There are no rules for how many times each individual can count. It is however important that everyone participates. So stop the exercise and start again if it is the same few that count all the time.
  4. Only one must count at a time, so if two people say "3" at the same time, you must start over. It is important that this rule is enforced; otherwise the exercise has no point to it.
  5. The exercise is most successful if not counted very quickly, but only counted when you can "feel", that there is room for one.
  6. Continue until you have counted to 21, although it may seem stressful. It will be successful for you. The point is precisely that the project can only succeed if everyone concentrates on being in the moment and about each other. If you all continue, you will be rewarded with the feeling of a great common focus and a deep silent concentration.


  1. If you would like to make it even harder and really experience the magic of having a common focus, you can, ones you have been able to count to 21, try the entire alphabet. This is done by you initiating both the series of numbers (by saying "1") and alphabet (by saying "A"). Anyone can now bid for counting forward or continue the alphabet. If there are two that say a letter simultaneously, you start over. If two say a figure simultaneously, you start over. 
  2. You can also practice over the course of several days until you nail it. Stop only when you did it. Otherwise it is a strange flat feeling to be part of something that does not succeed.

Why use energizers in a meeting

In an time with far too many boring and ineffective meetings where we spend endless hours glued to a chair, energizers and power mingling exercises are effective and diverse means to jumpstart energy and group dynamics. Read more about energizers here ...

More info about energizers

Bo Krüger, Moving Minds, bo@movingmi...

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