The 90/10 Principle


One of the most powerful concepts for a life in balance, with decreased stress and increased wellbeing is Stephen Covey´s 90/10 Principle which states that 10 percent is about all the external factors that happens to us and the 90 percent is about the way we react to them.

What does this mean?

It means that unpredictable things happen, but we own the power of decision to choose the way we will respond to them.

Then, the circumstances we get into after our choice, will be the product of our own decision.

We can basically apply this principle in many situations and in any area of our life.

Let´s take an example:

Situation: You are stuck in the traffic and you are on your way to an interview

Reactive choice: You get angry, stressed, frustrated and get stuck in the negative thoughts. It doesn´t matter if you make it on time to the interview, you are already poisoned by the negativity and the day will continue this way.

Responsive using the 10/90 Principle: You understand this situation is not under your control and in a calm way think what you can do.

You call the recruiter; explain the situation and you get the interview moved to a time/date you can make it. You are relaxed, feel you have control over the situation and you just continue finding opportunities and positive things around you during the day.

Effect: The situation is the same, but the results are different depending on the way we handle the situation.

The reactive choice escalated stress, frustration and negative feelings during the rest of the day.

The responsive choice decreased stress and provided a more positive result, for the rest of the day.

The 10/90 Principle is simple to apply.

We just need to be aware that the first step is our full responsibility of taking the conscious and thoughtful decision to respond to get the best out of a situation, instead of being reactive.

Try it!

Remember, adopting a healthier approach to situations by choosing responsiveness can change our life for the best to evolve with the right mindset, while keeping a balanced life with wellbeing by our side.