Tuesday, November 4, 2008

90/10 Principle of Stephen Covey - Anger Management


Have you heard of the 90/10 principle? I got this from an email and this taught me a great lesson. Applying this in our daily lives will save us from distress, heartache and depression. You are to choose your own consequences. Making your day bad or good is really up to you. Please read this article and be involved in it.

THE 90/10 PRINCIPLE

Author: Stephen Covey

Discover the 90/10 Principle: It will change your life. The 90/10 principle is incredible! Very few know and apply this principle. The Result? Millions of people are suffering undeserved stress, trials, problems, and heartache. They never seem to be a success in life. Bad days follow bad days. Terrible things seem to be constantly happening. Theirs is constant stress, lack of joy, and broken relationships. Worry consumes time, anger ruins friendships and life seems dreary and is not enjoyed to the fullest. Friends are lost. Life is a bore and often seems cruel. Does this describe you? If so, do not be discouraged. You can be different! Understand and apply the 90/10 principle. It will change your life!

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 may 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, but you can control your reaction. Don’t let people fool you; You can control how you react!

Let’s use an example. You’re 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 coffee cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize them 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 zone.

After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60 (traffic fine) away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs to the building without saying good-bye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to going home. When you arrive home, you find a 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, “It’s 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 and your spouse kiss before you both go to work. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good of a 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% is 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 the steering wheel? (A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall off!) Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and 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 or get irritated? It will work out. Use your “worrying” time and energy 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, etc. Why get 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.

2 comments:

dannielo said...

If you would like to implement some of Stephen Covey's best ideas, you can use this web aplication:

http://www.Gtdagenda.com

You can use it to manage and prioritize your Goals (in each of your life's categories), projects and tasks, in an intuitive interface. It has a Checklists section, for the repetitive activities you have to do, important but not urgent (Quadrant II, for example your routines/habits). Also, it features a Schedules section and a Calendar, for scheduling you time, activities and for the weekly review.

Some features from GTD are also present, like Contexts and Next Actions.

And it's available on the mobile phone too, so you can access it wherever you are.

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