of my friends forwarded this article to me sometime in 2007, as it was
too lengthy, I didn’t read at that time, and few months back I got a
chance to read this; only then I realized I should have read this in
2007 itself, because this article had changed my life in many ways
since I read this … hope it will change yours too!
Author: Stephen Covey
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.
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
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.
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 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 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.
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. 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.
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.
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!!!
The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent
my employer's view in any way.