29 August, 2006

The 90/10 Principle

This little piece is by Stephen Covey. Actually someone forwarded it to me at work. Perhaps he was giving me a hint or something!! The 90/10 Principle... here's a little excerpt:

Discover the 90/10 Principle. It will change your life (at least the way you react to situations). What is this principle? 10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react.

What does this mean? We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different.

You determine the other 90%. How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red-light., but you can control your reaction. Don't let people fool you; YOU can control how you react.

If someone says something negative about you, don't be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You don't have to let the negative comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out etc.

You can read the rest of this article here


archer14 said...

In other words this 'principle' could make a corpse out of you in no time.
This might work in an ideal world where people would listen to you when you decide to let it pass as they first step on your toes. Unfortunately, they'll eventually stomp on you until you make it clear that you can react and take action.
It's better to act on our emotions (in a positive sense) than to become a human punching bag.

clayfuture said...

True. It doesn't necessarily have to apply in each and every situation. Sometimes you have to ignore and let it pass and sometimes you have to fight back. I used to be short tempered, but time and experience have taught me to be patient. I don't react like I used to earlier, unless you really piss me off!!

nzm said...

I think that it's a choice that everyone has to consciously make - whether to react or respond.

If possible, I choose to respond because this means that I think before I act, and that I'm disciplined from within me - well at least that's what I aim for!

To react means that your behaviour is influenced by what is happening around you and that your behaviour is a by-product of those external influences.

Of course, it's not always possible to be 100% in control, but what Covey is writing about is that we can choose how to respond 90% of the time - and that's a high percentage of situations over which we can have control. Our behaviour/response determines how the situations can flow positively or be negatively impacted - and metaphorically speaking, a couple of the hardest lessons are to learn how to walk away, or how to roll with the punches to lessen the impact.

Mme Cyn said...

My my. Mr Covey obviously did "est" in the 1970s. This is nothing new.

Lirun said...

i love this.. i really live by it..

in business and personally..

a friend of mine told me recently that it is the essence of kabalistic thinking (jeiwsh mysticism)


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