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A qualified Chartered Accountant running his own finance advisory firm. Mehul has wide experience in Finance and Information Management in varied industries Financial Services, Utilities and Information Services.

Mehul's experience ranges from working closely with the CEO of a Rs120 billion-mega utility as an Executive assistant to driving a team function in Oracle Projects as the Team Lead to creating and building valuations models and maintaining industry-wide databases.

20 April 2006

The 90 / 10 Principle

Below is a nice write up on how we can control our lives. I don't know the source of this article; but is really interesting!!!

10% if 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 may 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're 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 coffee cup over. She breaks down in teears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse & criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the tbale. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs & chonge your shirt. Back downstairs you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast & get ready for school.
She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediatelyfor work. You rush to the car & drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit zone. After a 15 minute delay & throwing $60 (trafiic fine) away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs to the building without saying good-bye. 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. You look forward to going home. When you arrive home you find a small wedge in your relationship with your spouse & daughter.

Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning. Why did you have a bad day?

Did the cause cause it?

  1. Did your daughter cause it?
  2. Did the policeman cause it?
  3. Did you cause it?
The answer is #4!!!
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 grabbing a new shirt & your briefcase. You come back down in time to look through the window & see your child getting on the bus. She turns & waves. You & your spouse kss before both go to work. You arrive 5 minutes early & cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good of 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% is determined by your reaction.

Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 secret. If someone says something negative about you, do not be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You do not 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 loose you temper? Pound 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 10 seconds later at work? Why let the blue car ruin your drive.

Remember the 90/10 principle, & do not worry about it!

You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep or get irritated? It will work out. Use your 'worrying' energy & time into finding anouther 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, to get to know the other passengers, etc. Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse.

You now know the 90/10 secret. Apply it & you will be amazed at the results.

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