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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Discover the 90/10 Principle

Author: Stephen Covey

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.

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 happened. What happens next will be determined by how you

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 throwing $60 traffic fine away, 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 terrible. As it
continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to
coming home.

When you arrive home, you find 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, "Its ok honey, you just need to be more careful next time".
Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and
your briefcase, you come back down in time 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 different.

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. 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 off) 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 outpour 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. We all must understand and apply the 90/10

It CAN change your life!!!


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