Thursday, September 8, 2011

The 80/20 principle

One of the things I love most about my Superman is that he has this ability to see through all the "fluff" right to the real issue. It's not often that he is is duped and he is quite clear on the goals for our family.

I, on the other hand, tend to get too intense on issues and can get overwhelmed very easily when it comes to all the information that is thrown at me. This is partly my own fault as I enjoy reading and learning new things, but then I get anxious because there is so much to do as a wife and mom....

Superman tells me to do 2 things when I get like this:

1. Pray - ask God for what He wants me to do with the information.

2. Work on what I can do, and leave the rest.

I am reading a book at the moment (another post on this soon) and the writer shows all the different ways that we can make changes for better personal health and a less toxic home. I know that since 2008 we have made some really good inroads in the many things she lists, but there still seems like sooooo much to be done.

The other day when I was sharing this with Superman he did his normal tunnel vision thing and simply anwsered: "You can't do it all, just work on the 80" and promptly left the room. So I have been thinking about this. I know what he means about the 80...is the 80/20% principal.

This is the way we have begun to operate but initially our lives were out of kilter when we worked long long hours, spent too much money on things, didn't eat well, never cared for what rubbish we threw away etc.

The 80/20 principle is simply 80% good living - 20% marginal living.

80% good eating - 20% could be improved

80% sustainable lifestyle - 20% could be improved

80% eco friendly products - 20% could be improved...you get the idea?

So by taking his advice to work on the 80...I need to just keep doing what I am doing, and need to stop worrying about the rest.

I know some who are so concerned about their lifestyles that they feel they are doing it opposite - 20% good, the other 80% questionable...it seems that fretting about this never gets them anywhere, which is why I created my Babysteps Ecourse so that they can make little changes every month and start improving the ratio and tipping the scales towards the 80%

I truly believe that God made such an awesome body that it can deal with the questionable 20%. We have been given lymph nodes, kidneys and livers to get rid of the bad stuff that comes into our bodies through food, cleaning materials, building materials and pollution. But its when we overload our bodies with toxins that bad health and illness occurs.

So here's to the 80%...thanks Superman.

2 comments:

onebowlcookbook.com said...

It's also an incredibly valuable approach to diet changes too. 100% can be so taxing that people can't maintain it, and end up flipping the ratio. 80%, leaving yourself space for the occasional processed food or real sugar, is more sustainable in a world where you interact with many people and are exposed to large amounts of marketing. Peer pressure...

(Obviously, the 100% needs to apply for certain restricted diet like allergies but the average healthy person can be 80% perfect and 20% less perfect.)

Lilian said...

That's such a nice way to look at it. Like you I often get overwhelmed with how far I am from my 'ideal'. But then I realize that the journey of 1000 miles begins with 1 step so I spur myself to plod along, 1 baby step at a time.