Last week we focused on the Rule of 90/10 and how our inner world (our thoughts, opinions, and beliefs) has a significantly greater impact on our happiness and the quality of our experiences and relationships than the outer world. We described this as the ultimate responsible-thinking strategy. Yet every day I encounter someone who is practicing the Rule of 10/90 and waiting for the outside world or someone in the outside world to change so he or she can attain more desirable results. Sometimes that someone is a friend, family member, or neighbor; sometimes a person attending a Top 20 presentation; sometimes someone or a  group in the news; and sometimes it’s the person I see in the mirror when I am shaving.

Obviously, the severity level of the outside world’s difficulties will affect the challenge level of applying the Rule of 90/10. However, we can be in control of our inside life even when the conditions of the outside world are extremely negative.

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. We might take a moment to be inspired by Anne Frank whose young life was certainly devastated by the outside world, but who, nonetheless, realized her freedom to do the inside job. Although a victim of the greatest evil of the 20th century, this 14-year-old girl had the inner power to direct her life, develop her potential, and even influence the outside world. Anne’s voice is still being heard today. That’s the power Anne had by aligning her life to the Rule of 90/10.

“I must hold on to my ideals. Perhaps the day will come when I can realize them.” – Anne Frank, July 15, 1944

Belief in 90/10 is not only powerful and liberating, it’s also difficult. Accepting responsibility for our own lives can get sidetracked by three roadblocks to 90/10:

  • Blame: Because it appears to get us off the hook, blaming others for our experience can become a convenient response. This roadblock has developed deep roots in our current American culture.
  • Pretending: By pretending that we have no control, we can become trapped in the role of victim. Responsibility frees us not only from external controls of our lives, but also from self-imposed traps of pretending.
  • Making Excuses: When we forget about 90/10, we use excuses like a shield to protect ourselves. Making excuses guarantees that we will never discover the power within ourselves to be effective and become the best version of ourselves.

Although it may be challenging, staying on the road to developing the responsibility-thinking strategy of 90/10 is the only way to empowerment, taking control of our lives, and becoming the best version of ourselves. It’s a choice.

This week let’s consider roadblocks that may be showing up in our lives. Where do we see ourselves avoiding responsibility by blaming, pretending, or making excuses?

From our Top 20 team…Kevin Brennan, Willow Sweeney, and Tom Cody…who help me stay on the road to 90/10.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training