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90/10 Principle

The 90/10 Principal is a concept developed by the motivational speaker and author Stephen Covey. Simply put, his theory is that 10% of life is what happens to us, and is out of our control, the other 90% is how we decide to react to it. Please consider the following excerpt:

Discover The 90/10 Principle
It will change your life (or at least, the way you react to situations)

10% of life is made up of what happens to you.What does this mean?

                …90% of life is decided by how you react…

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 the traffic.

The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%.

How?… By your reaction.

Do not let people fool you. YOU can control how you react.

  “Life IS going to happen”, there will be the 10% of things that happen TO us. However, many of the things that we say and might I believe happen “to” us are simply the consequences of our poor choices.

 What is the number one cause of poor choices?

 The one thing that leads to more wrong choices, rather large or small, is reacting out of our emotions, saying and doing thing without considering, “will  actually solve the problem?” or” what the possible consequences?”. We can chose to “React” out of our emotional state, or “Respond” after thinking through our options before acting. Yes, I understand that we are all emotional beings, and our emotions are very important part of who we are, but we must not allow them to dictate and control our behaviors. So how do we insure that this does not happen?

 We learn, grasp and apply the 90/10 principal.

 When we accept responsibility for our lives, choices and behaviors, we begin to realize the power that we have to direct the destiny of our lives. The influence that we have over the things that happen “to” us.

 I take responsibility and ownership of the destiny of my life. I herby CHOOSE to live my life accepting that there are going to be things that are going to happen to me, but these are the exception rather than the norm. The direction and situations in which I find myself are usually the results of my choices and behaviors.

 Let’s look at a quick example:

You are preparing to head out the door for the morning for a day full of appointments and  meetings, but just you go to kiss your little boy “good bye”, he spills his cereal and you get milk and cereal all over your shirt. IN your frustration you turn and raise your voice at him and yell, “Son you have to be more careful”. He runs to his mom and begins to cry. As you turn to go upstairs to change you see that his bus is pulling away from his bus stop. Now not only do you have to get changed and get to work, you have to get your son to school.  As you are leaving the school after dropping him off, you are going 30 MPH in a 20MPH school zone, After the 15 minute delay, you are finally on your to work. When you get there, you are late for your first meeting. Due to be being late, you are not assigned a big new account that could have been a career and life changer.

                       But why did you have such a bad day?

 Because your son spilled his cereal?      

                                                            Because of the police officer that stopped you?

 Or was it because of your reaction and behaviors.

 Of course it is the final answer. It is YOUR fault. It was your CHOICE to yell at your son and get upset that started the chain of events that resulted in your “Bad Day”.

 You see once we have made one bad choice, we are usually faced with more negative consequences and therefore more negative emotions which get easier and easier to react and continue to make poor choices perpetuating a cycle of negativity and pain.

 On the other hand, if I had not been so quick to react, and calmly spoken to my son and quickly ran to change. He made it to his bus; I would have made it to work early with time to spare before the meeting, and as expected and deserved I am assigned the big account.

What was the difference?  My choices and behavior!

 So matter what happens, no matter how big or small, it is still ONLY 10% of your life. The outcome, the other 90% is based on if you CHOOSE to RESPOND or REACT!

 So take back control of your life and stop giving it away by reacting to your circumstances and start responding to them, in doing so you take charge of the direction and condition of your life.

 CHOOSE to RESPOND!

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