Sunday, July 22, 2007

The 90/10 principle

Have you ever heard of the 90/10 principle?

It goes something like this:

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 will 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.
More here.

I think only I can control how I react with God's help.

Similarily, our lives hold this "90/10 principle". 90 percent of life is the ordinary moments. 10 percent are the big ones. Just ask any woman who birthed more than one child. You forget that 90 percent of the laboring, but remember clearly the 10 percent: when you finally get to hold them after your hard work.

Either way, both can be used effectively as a mother. Our children don't always need the "big moments". The everyday, the constant-ness of your presence is what matters. Conversely, we don't need those big moments. The everyday is sufficient enough.


Stacy said...

An emphatic "Mmm hmm!" from my little corner.
"The everyday is sufficient enough."


Joel and Jaime said...

I liked this post---something I've had to work on---being content and happy in the everyday. Enjoying the 'big' moments when they happen, but living everyday for the 'small' moments, and enjoying them too! Thanks for the post!

Elise said...

So true! As a mama, I have to be so mindful of my reaction to an incident - that affects most of the outcome!
Wonderful thoughts for this mama on a Monday morning that begins a week with husband out of town - thank you!

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

I have always tried to take charge of my situation by responding appropriately (often with God's help). Never thought of it in regards to child-rearing--small everyday moments versus the big ones, but you are right on target.

L.L. Barkat said...

It's interesting to try to define a big versus a small moment. I'm not sure I can do it.

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

I once heard Joyce Meyer teach the 90/10 principle in a different way.

90% of the stuff of life is mundane, everyday things. Laundry, bills, cleaning house, work, cooking meals, etc.

10% of life is the "fluff"---vacations, moments alone, sunsets, a date with the spouse, etc

When you can learn to be content with the 90% of everyday, and find your joy in those tasks, you will reach true contentment in the Lord. But if you're always going after the 10% of fluff, you'll constantly be frustrated, defeated, and upset with your lot in life.

She related it all to Christ in such a much better way than I can, but it hit home with me.

Andrea said...

L.L.--expand on that?

Lindsey--that's essentially what I was saying. :) You explained it well.

Betty said...

I was thinking about your post all day yesterday. It was great food for thought and so true. We had a similar incident as the article you referenced (my son knocked over a tall glass of water) and unfortunately my dh had not read the article yet, BUT it is something we've all been working on so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. But it was a very visual picture for me.

This Sunday our sermon was on what comes out when God uses circumstances to squeeze us. Is it sweet or bitter? That is what is actually in our hearts. Ouch! I have alot to work on!

Grace & Peace,

dr. filomena said...


I just had a discussion on this very subject with my aunt an hour ago. So true and basic, but so easy to forget.

Very well written, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

All my best