The 90/10 Principle
(By Stephen Covey, Management Guru)
Have you read this before:
Discover the 90/10 Principle. It will change the way you manage your life.
What is the 90/10 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
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.
Let's use an example.
You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup
of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just
what happened. What happens next will be determined by how you react. You
curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. She
breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and
criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A
short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt.
Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish
breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must
leave immediately for work.
You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are
late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit. After a
15-minute delay and paying fine, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs
into the building without saying goodbye.
After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your
briefcase. Your day has started terribly. As it continues, it seems to get
worse and worse. You look forward to coming home, When you arrive home,
you find a small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter.
Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning.
Why did you have a bad day?
A) Did the coffee cause it?
B) Did your daughter cause it?
C) Did the policeman cause it?
D) Did you cause it?
The answer is D.
You had no control over what happened with the coffee.
How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day.
Here is what could have and should have happened.
Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say,
"It's ok honey, you just need, to be more careful next time." Grabbing a
towel you rush upstairs.
After wearing a new shirt and with your briefcase, you come back down in
to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She
turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the
staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you are having.
Notice the difference?
Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended differently.
Why? Because of how you REACTED.
You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90%
was determined by your reaction.
Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle.
If someone says something negative about you, don't be a sponge(don't
absorb). 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.
How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic?
Do you lose your temper?
Pound on the steering wheel? (A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall
Do you curse?
Does your blood pressure skyrocket?
Do you try and bump them?
WHO CARES if you arrive ten seconds later at work?
Why let the cars ruin your drive? Remember the 90/10 principle, and do not
worry about it.
You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep and get irritated? It will
work out. Use your worrying energy and time into finding another job. The
plane is late; it is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Why
take out your frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over
what is going on. Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger.
Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse.
Now you know the 90/10 principle.
Apply it and you will be amazed at the results. You will lose nothing if
you try it. The 90/10 principle is incredible. Very few know and apply
this principle. The result? Millions of people are suffering from
undeserved stress, trials, problems and heartache. There never seem to be
a success in life. Bad days follow bad days. Terrible things seem to be
constantly happening. There is constant stress, lack of joy, and broken
Worry consumes time.
Anger breaks friendships and life seems dreary and is not enjoyed to the
fullest. Friends are lost. Life is a bore and often seems cruel.
Does this describe you? If so, do not be discouraged.
You can be different!
Understand and apply the 90/10 principle.
Shree Mahishasura Mardhini Sthotram
3 years ago