Voluntary Society - Action - 90/10 Principle

According to Stephen Covey, 10% of life consists of what happens to you. 90% is decided by how you react. You have no control over 10%. You determine the other 90% by your reaction. You cannot control a red light, however you can control your reaction.

For example, you are having breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business suit. 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. She is moved to tears.

You criticize your spouse for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table.

You storm upstaris and chaing your suit.

Downstairs you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish her breakfast and get ready for school. She misses her bus.

Your spouse must immediately leave for work. You rush to drive your daughter to school. After a fifteen minute delay to receive a $260 traffic fine, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye.

After arriving at your office twenty minutes late, you realize you forgot your briefcase.

Your day has started terribly. As it continues, it worsens. You look forward to returning home, but when you arrive, you find a small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter, because of how you reacted in the morning.

Why did you have a bad day?
  1. Did the coffee cause it?
  2. Did your daughter cause it?
  3. Did the policeman cause it?
  4. Did you cause it?
The answer is "D."

You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted during the subsequent five seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what coudl have and should have happened:

Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, "It's okay, honey, you just need to be more careful next time."

You go upstaris, and change your shirt, grab your briefcase and return downstairs in time to see your daughter getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive five minutes early, and cheerfully greet the staff.

Notice the difference?

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