Our lives as human beings are driven primarily by things called inputs and outputs – things we acquire which other people have made or produced (inputs) and things which we create and give out to other people (outputs). We need a complete supply of these inputs and outputs in order to survive and help other survive as well. Examples of inputs are things like food, money, clothing, lessons, education, and shelter. Outputs are our words, our jobs, our creative pursuits, and so on.
One person believed that the secret to a happy and fulfilled life is to have the perfect balance of inputs and outputs. He realized that most people feel dejected and frustrated in life because they do not get to enjoy the fruits of their outputs, or get to use it to gain more positive input. This realization led him to create his book, Living the 80/20 Way.
What is 80/20 All About?
The concept of using 80/20 began with a man named Joseph Juran, a management thinker. He recognized that for many people, certain activities that they do (inputs) account for majority of their outputs and happiness. Thus the simple rule of 80/20 was born. It is a powerful analyzing tool for determining whether a person is living the life that he deserves to lead.
The 80/20 rule is applicable to almost all the things and processes that are happening in our life. For example, you may spend a big number of hours talking to a very small group of people. You spend a huge sum of your money for a limited number of things (like food, electricity, and water).
If we follow Juran’s 80/20 analysis, we can see that people are not happy or contented with their lives because they create too much input for a very low output. A lot of people would be very familiar with the sensation of working long hours day in and day out, only to feel shortchanged because they do not like what they are doing or they feel that their output in their job is worthless.
In his book, author Richard Koch revealed that there is a way for people to turn this statistic around. He believes that while not everyone can become rich and successful overnight, anyone has the power to go out and place more emphasis on achieving happiness. And from this achievement, greater things can become a reality.
How Can I Do the 80/20 Way?
The 80/20 method is actually very simple. However, it may require you to fulfill certain sacrifices which you may or may not be ready to act on.
First up, it is necessary for you to determine exactly what activity makes you happiest – be it a hobby, your family, or your retail fix every week. Once you’ve determined which object or idea this is, you can start to take steps to make sure that you allocate time and resources to enable you to do this activity on a more liberal scale.
People often feel apprehensive about pursuing their passions or the things that they enjoy most, because they feel that even though they love doing it, it does not generate enough input for them to live a fairly comfortable life. But actually, nurturing your true passions and prioritizing it allows you to transform it into something which you can harvest a lot of output from. There are actually a lot of people who have decided to throw caution to the wind and do just what they want to do. As a result, they now not only are happy, they are fairly successful as well.
The 80/20 rule is applicable on a corporate level as well. In a job, usually, 80 percent of the valuable output is only performed by 20 percent of the personnel. In order to make your company more conducive to development, you need to let go of the 80 percent of the staff who are not as productive as the other 20 percent.
An 80.20 method is best for dealing with almost anything and everything. If you are weighed down by a particularly sticky decision, determine what the magnitude of its effect will be by analyzing whether it will give you lesser or greater input.
If you are ready to change your life for the better from now on, seek the 80/20 balance consciously and strive to make it a representative statistic of your life. Let go of jobs and habits which you do not gain much input from. Pursue your interests and passions actively and watch your productivity levels reach its peak. Do not fear for lack of material, tangible output like money or property. When you take care of achieving your natural maximum output, benefits and success should not be too far behind.