Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The 80/20 rule

I'm going to let you in a little secret of mine.  It's something that I discovered a while ago, back when I was in college, that has helped me ever since.  My little secret may not help everyone, but I bet someone out there needs to hear it.

So, here it goes.  If I give a 100% to something, I will always fail.

Doesn't make sense does it.  It's true though.  At least it's true for me.  I found that whenever I put my whole heart and soul into getting an "A" in something or doing the best job possible, I failed.  However, when I decided to go for the "B", I always got the "A".  It was all about the pressure.

I have a tendency to let the pressure of a job well done cripple my ability to think and act.  I mistakenly think that so much is riding on *insert whatever the event/job is* that if I don't practically kill myself trying to accomplish it and spend every spare moment perfecting it, then I would never succeed.  I would be worthless.  Naturally this methodology wasn't working too well for me.  I was a nervous wreck for a lot of the time.  A stress ball if you will.

I simply had to cut myself some slack or I wasn't going to survive to see my graduation day.  That's when the 80/20 rule came into effect. I could strive for perfection 80% of the time, and then I had the other 20% to mess up royally and I was still okay.  After all I was going for 80 so I met my goal. As an additional bonus I was not allowed to feel guilt about anything that happened in that 20% either.  It was sweet sweet freedom and life got better.  My grades improved,  my stress level went down, and best of all, I felt good about what I was accomplishing.  I took off the self-imposed pressure.

How much of our life's pressures come because we expect perfection from ourselves?  And how much of it is about things that just don't really matter?  Does it effect your eternal salvation?  If not then don't worry about it for heaven's sake!  Life is simply too short to cheat yourself out of a job well done... even if it's not perfect.


  1. I've been aiming low for years. It totally works for me.

  2. Ha! are a fabulous woman and you know it.

    I have more of a 40 / 60 rule myself...95 / 5 for other people, though. Huh. I'm sure that says something about me!

  3. It's a cruel world when I don't have time to reply in a timely fashion to the witty comments. sheesh! glad to hear that I'm not the only one who aims for reality.

  4. Well, Lora, you seem pretty fabulous, too, so it must be working for you as well.

  5. Oh, and we both know Tawnya is fabulous as well, so we're all under-achieving geniuses! Wait, not under-achieving, under-aiming?

  6. I love that concept. good idea. I feel similarly about completely jobs---1000%! or nothing is good enough. but then I don't exceed others opinions. grrr...good advice. thanks

    Word Verification: ablecons

    had to share...te he