“When it is useful to them, men can believe a theory of which they know nothing more than its name.” – Vilfredo Pareto
It’s coming up on the end of the year! This has me thinking about my how my year went, and more importantly what were the key takeaways. And, as I begin to reflect, I know it’s important to look back on the roots of what was good and what needed to improve.
By digging deep I’ll be able to determine the activities and habits that had the highest yield, and the thoughts or ideas that set me back, or had a low yield. This really got me thinking about Pareto’s Law, the 80/20 rule. This rule states that 20% of your efforts will yield 80% of the results. A powerful consideration, especially if you begin stacking those 20 percents for bigger outcomes – aka more enjoyment!
Vilfredo Pareto realized that 20% of his pea pods created 80% of the peas in his garden. Reflecting on this idea, he also realized that this was a universal principle that could be applied to economics. This principle has now extended into management and other practices. It is also a powerful tool if used to reflect on one’s own life.
My interpretation is that some activities will yield very different results, especially in the context of you. Meaning your thoughts and interpretations of your world, and how you choose to interact with it, may bring about more happiness and enjoyment than others. The key is to determine which of your actions bring about the most satisfaction and enjoyment. You must also know that you would be fine without the rest.
Yes eliminating 80% of the clutter does sound extreme, and it stresses me out. It presents as worrying about not having to worry. What if we could actually eliminate 80%? For me this doesn’t sound plausible, but when I consider all the different pillars in my life, this law begins to take shape.
When I ask myself “what is the 20% of each pillar that is the true foundation”? That’s when I begin to start finding answers. I feel excitement and energy as I can refine and eliminate the red tape and get to the good stuff. We can create a lot of room to tinker and explore in our lives by looking at things this way.
By compressing each pillar down to the essentials we become more effective. The juice we squeeze from each lemon becomes bountiful as we have maximized our yield. In effect we are choosing to only interact with the 20% of the pea pods, and eliminating the rest in search of more of those special pea pods.
As this relates to my fitness journey, I have best practices that are balanced in different categories, such as sleep, nutrition, stress, support, etc. I have developed these best practices by sticking to this law and applying it through repeated validation. A scientific process of distilling methods that work for me right down to the very best.
It is my hope that you can do the same with the things that matter most to you, and you can do so at such a special time in the year! Think about Pareto, and the pea pods in your backyard. Try to grow the ones that will give you the most bountiful harvest in 2019!