90/10 principle by Steven Covey

Recently, i came across this forward mail. (rather, the mail came to me :) ) Its supposedly by Steven Covey. Its worth reading and more importanly implementing….

Here it goes……….

90/10 Principle
By: Steven Covey

Discover the 90/10 Principle. It will change your life (at least the way you react to situations). What is this principle?

10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react. What does this mean?

We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%.

How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red light. However, you can control your reaction. Do not let people fool you; YOU can control how you react.

Let us use an example: You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just happened. What happens next will be determined by how you react. You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over.

She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work.

You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit zone. After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60 traffic fine away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started te rrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home, When you arrive home, you find small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter.

Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning. Why did you have a bad day?
A. Did the coffee cause it?
B. Did your daughter cause it?
C. Did the policeman cause it?
D. Did you cause it?

The answer is “D”.

You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what could have and should have happened.

Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, “Its ok honey, you just need to be more careful next time”. Grabbing a towel, you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase, you come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minute s early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you are having.

Notice the difference?

Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different.

Why? Because of how you REACTED.

You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% was determined by your reaction.

Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle.

If someone says something negative about you, do not be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You do not have to let the negative comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out etc.

How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic?

* Do you lose your temper?
* Pound on the steering wheel? A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall Off)
* Do you curse?
* Does your blood pressure skyrocket?
* Do yo u try to bump them?

WHO CARES if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the cars ruin your drive. Remember the 90/10 principle, and do not worry about it.

You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep and get irritated? It will work out. Use your worrying energy and time into finding another job.

The plane is late; it is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Why take out your frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over what is going on. Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger.

Why are stressed out? It will just make things worse. Now you know the 90-10 principle. Apply it and you will be amazed at the results. You will lose nothing if you try it.

The 90-10 principle is incredible. Very few know and apply this principle.

The result? Millions of people are suffering from undeserved stress, trials, problems and heartache.

We all must understand and apply the 9 0/10 principle.

It CAN change your life!

what say ??


  1. Shurezni


    I would love to have your book, please be kind enough to let me know how I can have it.

    Thanks & Rgds,

  2. Zam Zam Nagujja

    the 90/10 principle was forwarded to me by a colleague at work last year. It is one of those things that i’m lucky to have read and i share it everyday with friends that i feel need it. That’s why i’m sending this message today as i was checking it on the net when i came across this connection.

    90/10 works. I have ended up less stressful, most of the time and getting better explanation from people that i otherwise would have been annoyed with. It leads to better communication.

  3. Mariana

    This principle is wonderful it really works and helps people understand not to put the blame on others.

  4. Rowena

    Hi im Rowie, im so inspired by the article that i feel like im ready to fall in love again

  5. prafull tripathi

    it can really change your life,save your time and bring confidence.

  6. vidhi patel

    i realy believe in this principle & i can my best try to impliment on this principle,but our some elder’s are not believe in it due to some ego or some low education.so i believe that in the world’s every school would start 1hour general education for student’s parents.

    And i believe that to this way we could reduse the communication gap between the people mentality.

    Thank you.

  7. Deepika

    Just today I had a kind of coffee spill incident with my son and I reacted the way one would react before knowing 90/10 principle and my whole day was spoiled and I got headache.But after reading this I thought I should apply this principle to my life.I always react that way especially my kids do anything wrong beyond my expectation.



  8. Srikanth

    Its absolutely to known by every one who want to make their life with cheerful and happiness.If u follow the 90/10 principle carefully and patiently then u will be the 100% perfect person.

    Try to follow it.

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