The 80/20 Rule

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The 80/20 Rule: In life, it’s a matter of perspective and focus

Vilfredo Pareto inspired the “80/20 rule.” His study of income distribution and the analysis of individuals’ choices inspired the Pareto principle (law of the vital few). For many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes.[1]

He realized that wealth is only held by 20% of people globally, and 80% are poor. He saw the same principle but doing the opposite in his backyard. 20% of the peapods in his garden produced 80% of peas.

A small percentage of people accomplish the most significant outcomes in churches, schools, or offices. The reverse can be true; it takes a few people to cause huge problems.

The same thing is many times true in whatever we try to accomplish. For example, we get the job we want, but we have difficult bosses to work with. Our kids grow up nicely, but one turns out a bit rotten that slows down the rest of the family.

Like Jessa, who was born without limbs, much like Nick Vujicic, she could choose to focus on 80% of her physical disability. With only 20% of her body that can do things. However, with the proper focus and perspective, she’s able to use the mere 20% to continue living a productive and happy life.

The point is, a lot of our misery stems from how we view the 80/20 principle. It’s not an exact science, but the significance of the rule is a matter of focus and perspective. The Bible gives us a better 80/20 rule.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

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