In 1906, Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist observed that 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population. He observed that the same ratio was applicable to other areas of economics.
Check your “selfies” and “usies”. Are they in line or contrary to Pareto’s Principle?
The Pareto Principle—also known as the 80-20 rule—doesn’t just describe the way things are; it can also be used as a powerful tool to help you focus and redirect your energies, becoming more efficient and more successful in the long term. Pareto’s Principle is about unconscious consistency and habit.
Pareto’s observation applies far more widely than he originally imagined. The 80-20 rule holds true for things like:
20% of the clothes in your closet are worn 80% of the time.
20% of the food you eat is the same 80% of the time. FYI - 20% of food you eat contributes to 80% of weight gain.
You spend 80% of your time with 20% of your friends. Look who is in your “usies”!
80% of the space on shelves, in our closets, in our drawers hold clutter.
80% of what you own brings you 20% of your happiness.
Think back to clubs or groups you involved with. Was not 80% of the work done by 20% of the membership?
Bottom line, 20% of activities produce 80% of results. My apologies to the educational institutions, but 80% of what you learned these past four years (or five, or six years) you will forget. 20% is crucial. Don't worry, the Internet will be there for you.
Here is another 80/20 reality. You will fail more, perhaps as much as 80% of the time, than succeed. It’s okay as long as you fail forward, in other words learn from your mistakes and failures. It’s in failure where the great discoveries are made. One of my favorite TED Talk presenters, Brené Brown, points out that the TED conference is actually the failure conference! Many speakers share their multiple failures on the way to reaching success. That 80% failure rate means we constantly need to learn and relearn. And you thought you were done with homework!
"We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated." - Maya Angelou
If you want to achieve the goals you desire, change your strategy and refocus your energy on the 20% of activities that will help you to achieve these goals.
If you don’t have a job yet I suggest you utilize Pareto’s Principle. 80% of your possibilities lie within 20% of your contacts. Make sure these people are in your “usies”! Could they refer you to those who might benefit from the passion, gifts and knowledge you have? If you’re looking to lengthen your list of powerful, profitable, connective contacts, it’s worth your time to ask for referrals from the folks who already spend the most with you.
Take time to discover who is worth spending the time and those who generate the most life enhancing benefits. This accounting will show you where to spend time and resources wisely.
One of the key take-aways of Pareto’s Principle is recognize that most things in life are not distributed evenly. In other words, life is not fair. Remember, the Pareto Principle is an observation, not a law of nature. The Pareto Principle does not have to define your life…unless you let it. You have a choice on where, on how, on when and with whom you spent the important 20%. Get a “usie” of you working on this!
Learn to maximize life with those who matter most. What matters most is sharing.
"Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time". -Victor Hugo
Lisa Gansky, The Mesh: Why The Future of Business is Sharing, speaks to our relationship with stuff. We live in a shared economy. Our trust of government and corporations is at an all time low. Add to this, Paypal and EBay showed us we could trust the Internet to do transactions. Apple and Google created cell phones that make us reachable and findable. Facebook and LinkedIn validated who we are and the 2008 Great Recession changed lives! This “perfect storm” has lead to, we don’t need to own “it,” but we do need to share it! I believe Pareto’s Principle speaks to this! Own 20% of what you need and share the the 80% of what you want!
Need transportation, call Uber or Lyft! Need housing? Connect with Airbnb, HomeAway or Windu! Want food away from the typical venues and don’t want to dine alone? Try EatWith! Need funding for a project? There is Kickstarter, LendingClub and Prosper. Need help with a project? Try TaskRabbit or Zaarly. Got tools to share with neighbors? Go to yerdle. Have you got excess energy and want to put it on the grid? Connect with SolarCity!
Woody Allen says that 80% of success is showing up. For Uber, Airbnb and the other players in the shared economy, it’s more like a 100%! Listen to Uber, not Woody.
Learn to make sharing irresistible. Learn to make sharing vital. What if sharing took upwards of 80% of your time and energy? How might sharing impact the law of abundance for you?
Sharing allows us to test things out. It allows to expand and contract, be more vibrant and engaged with others. Sharing also allows us to share our vulnerability, our fears, our mistakes and our failures! When we share more, guess what happens to trust? Guess how much closer and quicker we get to success? Those are the “usies” we need to see more of!