You were eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocked over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt .
You harshly scolded your daughter for knocking the coffee cup over. She broke down in tears. After scolding her, you turned to your wife and criticized her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table.
A short verbal battle followed. You stormed upstairs and changed your shirt. Back downstairs you found your daughter had been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She eventually missed the school bus.
Your wife must leave immediately for work. You rushed to the car and drove your daughter to school. Because you were late, you drove 80km/hr above 60km/hr speed limit. After a 15 minute
delay and eventually having to pay traffic fine, you arrived at your
daughter’s school. Your daughter ran into the school premises without saying good-bye. You arrived at your office 20 minutes late only to discover you forgot your briefcase at home.
Your day has started terribly already. As it continued, it seemed to get worse and worse. You transfered the aggression on your customers and subordinates in the office. You looked forward to going home. When you arrived home, you found a small wedge in your relationship with your wife and daughter because of how
you reacted in the morning.
The question now is, what or who
created the bad day?
A) The coffee
B) Your daughter C) Your wife
D) The road safety officer
The answer is You. Yes, you!
You had no control over what
happened with the coffee, but YOUR REACTION to the little scenario created the bad day.
HERE IS WHAT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED:
Coffee splashed over you. Your
daughter was about to cry. You gently said “It’s OK honey, you just need to be more careful next time”. You rushed upstairs. After grabbing a new
shirt and your briefcase. You came
downstairs in time, looked through
the window and saw your child
getting into the school bus. Sheur child
getting into the school bus. She turned and waved. You and your wife kissed before you both went to work. You arrived 5 minutes early and cheerfully greeted the staffs. Your boss commented on how good a day you were having. Do you notice the difference? Two
different scenarios both started the
same way, but ended differently. Why? Because of YOUR REACTION. 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 PRINCIPLE.
1.) If someone says something
negative about you, don’t be upset.
Let the attack roll off like water on glass. 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 or relationship, being fired,
getting stressed out, etc.
2.) How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you lose your temper? Pound the steering wheel till it falls off? Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try
and bump them? Remember the 90/10 principle, and do not worry
3.) You were told you lost your job.
Must you lose your life as well? Use your “worrying” energy and time into finding another job. Everything will normalize again.
4.) 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 passengers, etc. Why get stressed out?
It will only make things worse…
Now you know the 90/10 principle.
Never waste time laying emphasis on what went wrong, or who should be blamed, activate the “solution mode” immediately.