Islamic Inspirations
Inspirations to positive Islamic Living – A part of Jannah BlogGarden

The 90/10 Principle

What is this 90/10 principle? 10% is made up of what happens to you in your daily life. 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 arriving late throwing off our schedule. A driver may cut us off in traffic. Ending in a ditch because of icy roads in winter. 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. Let’s use an example.

You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just what happened. What happens next will be determined how you react. You swear. Your scream disaster! You get distressed and harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticise her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs to 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.You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 50 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit. After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60 (traffic fine) away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye. After arriving at the office 30 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terribly. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming 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 tell her, “It’s ok, you just need to be more careful next time”.

Grabbing a towel you dash upstairs and change into a new shirt, grab your briefcase, and you come back downstairs in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns around smiling and waves. You say goodbye to your spouse before you go to work. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet your collegues and staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you are having.

Notice the difference? Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended differently. Why? Because of how you reacted. You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% was determined by your reaction. Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle.

If someone says something negative about you, don’t be a sponge. Let the comments roll like water off a duck’s back . You don’t 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 on the steering wheel? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them? Why stress yourself out if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the other bad drivers ruin your day?

You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep, get stressed, cranky and irritated? It will work out. Use your worrying; energy and time 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. Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse. Now you know the 90/10 principle apply it and you will find that you have nothing to lose.

Bad days follow bad days. Terrible things seem to be constantly happening. There is constant stress, lack of joy, and broken relationships. Worry consumes time. Anger breaks friendships and life seems dreary and is not enjoyed to the fullest. Friends are lost. Life is a trial 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. (Source: Dr. Mark R. Crapo, OMD, DAc, BS, LAc, CA

We ask Allah, may He be exalted, to keep us safe from distress, to grant us relief from our daily worries
and to alleviate our stress, for He is the All-Hearing Who answers prayers, He is the Ever-Living, Eternal.


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