Recently I decided that I would look at what was working in my life and that I would do more of it. It felt like overnight my life started moving rapidly forward in a positive direction. By now most of us are familiar with the concept that what we put our attention on is magnified and grows. When we see the world in a negative light, we quickly find evidence that things are not going well. However, when we choose to focus on the positive, we just as rapidly find evidence that there is much good in the world.
I have often thought of the Pareto principle, which is also known as the 80-20 rule, which explains that for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Joseph M. Juran, a 20th century management consultant, named this principle after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who noticed that 80% of the peas in his garden came from 20% of the pea pods. Pareto further discovered that 80% of the wealth from many countries was owned by just 20% of its population. Juran applied this principle to business, suggesting that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.
Many other applications of this powerful principle have since been found. Richard Koch, author of “The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Success by Achieving More with Less”, notes that hundreds of thousands of people have found this principle to be useful, not only in their work and careers, but also in the whole of their lives.
As Wayne Dyer notes, “When you change the way you look at things, the things that you look at change.” By deliberately choosing to focus on and be grateful for all that is going well in our lives, our lives can become an upward spiral of joy and fulfillment. I hope you, too, will choose to focus on the 20% of your efforts that are accounting for 80% of your success in all aspects of your life and that your life will become all that you are hoping it can be.