The 80/20 Way to Happiness

You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 Rule. It’s also known as Pareto’s Principle after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto.

The 80/20 Rule has becomes a guideline in many businesses and time-management systems and it proves  true across most human activities.

Whatever you are doing, approximately 80% of the benefit comes from 20% of the effort.

The 80/20 Rule

  • You wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time.
  • A business earns 80% of its sales from 20% of its customers.
  • You spend 80% of your time with 20% of your friends.
  • You use 20% of your possessions 80% of the time
  • 20% of what you do brings 80% of your happiness

The  80/20 Way to Happiness

OK, I invented that last point but if you think about it, it’s true.  That’s why learning and applying the 80/20 Rule can make you happier than ever before.  Look at it this way:

  • What makes you happy?
  • Are you doing it?
  • Are you doing it 20% of the time?
  • Would you be happier if you did it 80% of the time?

What Makes You Happy?

Are you doing it?  If not, why not?

If you’re like me, you could come up with countless excuses that make perfect sense….as long as you accept the premise that we don’t get to do what we want….or have to wait for “some day” which by definition cannot ever arrive and become today.

What Are You Doing 80% of the Time?

do what you loveIt’s easy to feel trapped in unsatisfying jobs, careers, relationships and even bodies that once served us but no longer do.  If so, these are things you can change.

Too many of us worry about “quitting” something that is really only important to other people we are trying to please. It’s important to keep our agreements but there’s no need to stay in a college program you don’t like and provides no job prospects to please parents or your own view that you must have a college degree.

The best advice I can give anyone is “Do What You Love and Find Someone to Pay You For It.”  The getting paid part might take twenty years yet doing what you love even 20% of the time keeps you on the 80/20 Way to Happiness.

Happiness is a way of being, doing what we love and moving toward what we love.

I don’t have any lists for you.  You know what makes you happy!  Use that as a reality check against what you are doing.  I’m going to take my own advice and start doing more of it…right now.

Sal Ayub
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