The Very Popular Stephen Covey 90/10 Principle


The Very Popular Stephen Covey 90/10 Principle

A Paradigm Shift for Personal Effectiveness

stephen Covey’s rule 90/10 is very famous, and it is really worth it and deserves to apply in your life, where Stephen Covey says: At least your reactions to certain situations will change. What’s the rule? 10% of life is shaped by what happens to us, 90% of life is determined by our reactions!

In the world of personal development and self-improvement, few concepts have garnered as much attention and acclaim as The Very Popular Stephen Covey 90/10 Principle. Coined by the renowned author, educator, and speaker Stephen Covey, this principle has captured the hearts and minds of individuals seeking to enhance their effectiveness, productivity, and overall quality of life. In this article, we delve deep into the essence of the 90/10 Principle, exploring its origin, core tenets, and practical applications.


What Does this Mean?

What this means is that we actually do not have the ability to control 10% of what happens to us. We cannot prevent the car from breaking down or the plane from arriving late, which will spoil our entire program, or a driver cutting off traffic.

In fact, we do not have the ability to control 10%, but the situation is different at 90%. We are the ones who decide what the 90% can be. How is that? By our reactions… We can’t control a red traffic light, but we can control our reaction. Don’t let others make you foolish.

The Very Popular Stephen Covey 90/10 Principle
The Very Popular Stephen Covey 90/10 Principle

Can You Decide What Your Appropriate Reaction Is?

Let’s use this example: you are having breakfast with your family and suddenly your little daughter drops her coffee cup on your work shirt. You had no role in what happened here, but what will happen next will be decided by your reaction…

I started screaming and cursing and scolding your daughter. So the child began to cry, then, turned to your wife, reprimanding her for putting the cup on the edge of the table, and after a short verbal argument between you, you rushed upstairs and changed your shirt and then went back downstairs, and found that your daughter had been busy crying about finishing her breakfast and getting ready for school, and as a result So she missed the school bus and your wife had to leave for work.

You had to drive your daughter to school in your own car, and since you were late, you drove at 40 mph out of a maximum of 30 mph. After a 15-minute delay and paying a $60 traffic fine, I arrived at school. Your daughter ran into the school building without saying goodbye.

After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you found that you had forgotten your bag. So your day started badly and went from bad to worse. After you return home, you find tension in the relationship between you and your wife and daughter.



Is it because of your reactions since the morning?
Why did you have a bad day?
Is it because of the coffee?
Is it because of your daughter?
Is he a policeman?
Did you cause yourself that?

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The Answer

You had no control over the cup incident, but your reaction in the next five seconds ruined your day. Here is what was possible and should happen. The cup of coffee fell on you, and your daughter started crying. And I said to her very kindly: It’s okay, my dear… But next time, be more careful and attentive. She grabs the towel and hurries upstairs.

You change your shirt, grab your briefcase, go back downstairs on time to see your daughter from the window, get on the school bus, wave goodbye, get to work 5 minutes early, and cheerfully greet your classmates. And your boss makes a comment about your great day.

Notice the difference? There are two different scenarios. They have the same beginning, but a different ending. Why? Because of your reaction. And in fact, you had no control over the 10% that happened and the other 90% was determined by your reaction.

The Very Popular Stephen Covey 90/10 Principle
The Very Popular Stephen Covey 90/10 Principle

Ways to Apply the Rule

Here are some ways to apply the rule. If someone says some bad things about you, don’t be like a sponge. Rather, let the attack run down you like water on glass. And don’t allow negative comments to affect you! A positive reaction will not spoil your day, while a negative reaction may lead to you losing friends or being fired from work, and being nervous and exhausted. Etc.

How would you react if someone cut off traffic on you? Are you losing your temper? Do you hit the steering wheel firmly, upset? (One of my friends dropped the steering wheel!). Are you swearing?? Is your blood pressure rising? Who cares if you get to work ten seconds late? Why allow cars to derail your leadership? Remember the 90/10 rule and don’t worry about what happens next.


You Were Told You Lost Your Job!

Why anger, annoyance, and restlessness? Utilize the energy of worry and your time to find another job. The plane was late, and that ruined your daily schedule. Why do you pour out your anger and frustration at the flight attendant?

She has no control over when the plane will arrive. Use your time to study or get to know another traveler… Stress will only complicate your situation and make it worse. Apply the 90/10 rule and the results will amaze you.

You won’t lose anything if you try. 90/10 is an amazing rule that few people know and apply in their life. And because of the few, the result? Millions of people suffer from heart disease, undue stress, trials, problems, and divorce. So, we all have to understand and apply this rule… and your life will change for the better.


Mindfulness and Self-Awareness

Mindfulness, a practice that has gained significant traction in recent years, aligns harmoniously with the 90/10 Principle. Mindfulness encourages us to be fully present and aware of our thoughts, emotions, and reactions. This heightened self-awareness provides the space to pause, evaluate our automatic responses, and choose more deliberate reactions that align with our aspirations.

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From Theory to Habit

Transforming the 90/10 Principle from a concept to a habit requires consistent effort and intentionality. Like any skill, mastering our responses takes practice. Start by observing your reactions in various situations. Are they driven by habit or conscious choice? Gradually, as you cultivate this awareness, you’ll find yourself naturally gravitating toward the proactive mindset advocated by Covey.


A Call to Action

In a world where external forces often seem to hold sway, The 90/10 Principle serves as a powerful reminder that our internal choices can shape our destinies. It beckons us to take charge of our reactions, attitudes, and decisions, catalyzing a transformation from passive reactors to proactive creators of our lives. As Covey himself aptly puts it, “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”

So, the next time life presents its challenges, remember the 90/10 Principle. Will you let the 10% define you, or will you harness the 90% to redefine what’s possible? The choice is yours.


Embracing Empowerment

The 90/10 Principle empowers us to break free from the cycle of victimhood. It reminds us that no matter the circumstances, our reactions are always within our control. This shift in perspective can lead to a more fulfilled and proactive life.

As you embark on your journey of integrating the 90/10 principle into your daily life, remember that it’s a gradual process. Be patient with yourself as you unlearn old habits and cultivate new ones. Over time, you’ll find that your ability to navigate challenges with grace and positivity becomes second nature.


In conclusion

The Very Popular Stephen Covey 90/10 Principle serves as a powerful reminder that our reactions shape our reality. By focusing on the 90% of how we respond to life’s events, we reclaim our agency and steer our lives towards fulfillment and growth. So, the next time you’re faced with a challenge, take a deep breath, embrace the 90/10 principle, and watch how your life transforms.


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The Very Popular Stephen Covey 90/10 Principle

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