The 80/20 Rule

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“Before you begin work, always ask yourself, “Is this task in the top 20 percent of my activities or in the bottom 80 percent?”
― Brian Tracy

I would say that 80 percent of what we do are make work projects; something to keep us busy. Very little of what we do truly matters.

We spend way too much time doing the wrong stuff. Pick an activity that you are doing and think about what would happen if it didn’t get done.

It’s all about the payoff. What’s your return on investment? What do you get out of what you do? Should you take that course? Should you paint the bathroom? Should you have that argument? Some things are obvious and should be done. Education is always a good idea, as is exercise, and building goods relationships. Most things are not so obvious so we do it with very little payoff or even negative payoff. It’s not hard to do something that felt like a complete waste of time, or that we come to regret.

It’s a tough call but if you keep in mind the 80 percent of what you do is not worth doing, you will start doing more of the 20 percent that matters.

Truth be told…

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“You cannot achieve a goal that you cannot express clearly on paper.”
Flight Plan Brian Tracy

It all begins with a dream, a goal, a desire, or an idea of what you want. It could be grand, like wanting to be a millionaire, or wanting a Porsche Boxster Spyder. It could be something not so grand, like becoming debt free or have 3 months of expenses saved up as an emergency fund. It could even be something simple like buying a new living room suite or going on a vacation. Some are simple to achieve and some are more challenging, but all are possible.

The most important thing you can do for getting what you want is to write it down. Write every detail you can think of, and I do mean every detail.

Why do you need all this detail? Because it helps you focus on your goal and we end up doing what we think about the most.

A note about details. You probably won’t have many details at the beginning but write it down, even if it’s just the goal itself and when you would want it by. Other details will come to you and when they do, write it down as fast as possible because that detail that you didn’t write down, that you forgot, could be the missing key for achieving you desire.

A final thought about achieving your goal. We are achieving what we want every day and every minute. The problem is that most of what we are accomplishing is done without much thought and your probably achieving someone else’s dream. Are you really working towards something you truly want? Write it down and you’ll see that you will be doing more things to achieve your goals.

In closing, I’ve included a quote from another book that sums up how we spend our time.
“Their time and what they accomplish with that time is more controlled by outside circumstances and the demands of others than by their own priorities, goals, desires, or needs.”
— Mentored By A Millionaire — Steven K. Scott

Good and Bad

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“Things are never as bad as you think, but never as good as you’d like.”
– Maurice Champagne

This is a good thing. The sky is not falling, as some would like you to believe, and there is always something to improve.

We should be comfortable with where we are. It is what it is. Where you are in life is just the starting point of where you would like to be. There is always a way to get there from here. Your job is to figure that out.

No one will do it for you, and no one should; it’s your journey. The possibilities are endless. So much potential. So many ways to express yourself. So many things to share and experience.

You could fail, but you could succeed. And with each attempt, you most certainly will grow. What is the worse that can happen? You fall flat on your face and have to pick yourself up. That is living. That is how you shape and mold your life.

As George Bernard Shaw has said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

Success and Goals

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“Success goes to the person who reaches the goals they have set.”

It’s not the person who lies and cheats and is ready to pounce on anyone who stands in their way, that gets ahead. It’s not even the person who is honest and caring and thinks of other peoples needs first, who gets ahead. It’s really quite simple. The one who gets ahead is one who reaches the goals they have set for themselves.

The only way to success is through setting goals, have a plan for achieving them, and nibbling away at them until you’ve reached them.

Success means you finally have what you were reaching for. You said you wanted this and you got this, not that. Settling for “that” or second best or something you don’t really want but it will do, is not success. Reaching your goal is success.

Of course, this does require knowing what you want, writing it down in detail, breaking it down into doable chunks, and relentlessly chipping away at it.

You will get resistance. You will get obstacles dumped on your path. You will get discouraged, put down, yelled at, looked at, and held back at almost every corner. At times, it will seem impossible to continue, overwhelming, and just not comfortable. But have no double. It will be worth it!

Being successful means you can do it. It also means you can do it again, with other goals. It means you’re living life on your terms. It means you’re not swayed by mob mentality, by peer pressure, or by your past. It means becoming the true you. That’s what success is. That’s why it’s so important.

It’s not a matter of being good, or right, honest or just. It’s not a matter of how you look, or what will they think? It’s also not a matter of who will get hurt, who will fall, or who will suffer, although you can take these into consideration when pursuing your goals.

Results are all that matter, everything else is just an excuse. Setting a goal and finding a way, that you can live with, to achieving it, is the only way to move ahead. Everything else is you sitting in neutral, going nowhere, fast.

Set some goals, break ‘em down, and start chewing away. The alternative is, more of the same old grind.

Some People

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“What you allow is what will continue.”
— Unknown

  • Some people will always see you as the old you, the you you want to shed, the you that was less knowledgeable, less confident, and less happy.
  • Some people are comfortable with the old you. They know what to expect and they know what they can get away with.
  • Some people are threatened by the changing you and say things like “you’ve changed,” as if that is a bad thing.
  • Some people hold you back or make it very difficult for change to set in and take root.
  • Some people can’t see a brighter future for you, or for themselves. They can’t understand why you’re “screwing things up.”
  • Some people will even play the guilt card and say things like, “you’re hurting me,” or “stop before you destroy what we have,” or “you’re only thinking of yourself.”
  • The some people I’m talking about are usually the closest people, family and close friends, well meaning and do want the best for you as long as it fits their idea of best.
  • Some people, when they have known you one way will always see you that way no matter how much you’ve changed, or want to change. These are the people that are holding you back the most and these are the people you need to remove from your life or at least limit your relationship with them. These are the people stunting your growth and making it very difficult, if not impossible, to be all you want to be.
  • With growth comes change. You can’t have one without the other. To move forward, you may need to shed the past, at least some of it. Do it sparingly and only if absolutely necessary. After all, you are the sum total of your past, and there are some good things there.
  • Just remember, it is only some people.

Reacting Positive

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“It is not so much what happens but your reaction that determines how your life unfolds.”
— Maurice Champagne

We all have frustrating and potentially damaging things that are constantly confronting us. Life rarely goes our way without a hitch. How we deal with this reality matters much more than what has actually happened.

Ignoring events that upset you is not a healthy response, but neither is overreacting. If something bothers you, you don’t want to make it bother you even more. You want to win the war, not necessarily the battle. You want to keep an eye on the big picture while dealing with the little things that life dishes out. And though the big picture is unique for every one of us, it usually boils down to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling walk through this life.

Reacting is healthy and necessary and positive, when done right.