Posted on: February 8, 2020 Posted by: A.L. Jonas Comments: 0
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In a perfect world, 100% of your effort will bring about 100% of your desired result. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The world is not perfect. Life is unfair. In life, percentage input does not equal to the percentage output. This universal truth about the imbalance of inputs and outputs became known as the Pareto Principle better known as the 80/20 Principle. 

The Pareto Principle

Named after its founder, the Italian philosopher and economist in the mid-19th century, Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto. the Pareto Principle states that 80% of results or outputs came from just 20% of the action or inputs.

in his observation, Pareto noticed that only 20% of the pea plants in his garden is responsible to the 80% of the peas harvested. He then thought about the disparity of his country’s wealth. His thought led him to discover that 80% of Italy’s wealth was controlled by just 20% of the population. Further observations of society led him to the realization that all economic activities adhered to this principle. 

To illustrate, the principle says that:

  • About 80% of a company’s sales are generated by only 20% of the sales representatives
  • 80% of food sold in a restaurant came from just 20% of the items in the menu
  • 80% of road accidents are caused by just 20% of the drivers on the road.


On a personal note, it means that:

  • Around 80% of whom you spend most of your time with belongs to only 20% of your closest friends and family.
  • 80% of what you wear most of the time just came from 20% of your wardrobe
  • 80% of the online application that you use comprised of just 20% of the total applications stored in your gadget.

Are you part of the “Vital Few” or “Trivial Many”?

Dr. Joseph Duran, known for his work on quality management used this principle. Dr. Duran expanded it even further and it became known as the “vital few and the trivial many”. This means that in anything, only 20% are vital while the remaining 80% are trivial. Although first used in quality management, the 80/20 Principle can now be applied to anything in life.  

If you look into your life, you will notice that 80% of your productivity or success is brought about by just 20% of the things that you did. In the same way that 80% of your failures or disappointments in life are caused by just 20% of your issues. It all boils down to where you put all your efforts.

We all have 24 hours. The “vital few” in society choose wisely on how they spend their time that is why they belong to the top 20%. The rests or the “trivial many” remain slaves to their never-ending to do lists. They work hard all their lives yet their efforts do not contribute anything to the success of their lives.

“Work smarter not harder.” 

Now, ask yourself, are you part of the elite class in society called the “vital few” or are you part of the “trivial many”?  If you feel like you are not going anywhere in life despite all the hard work and effort that you have done, then it is time to reassess your life on where you put all your priorities and energies. Don’t be a part of the bottom 80%. Adopt the 80/20 Principle as one your life rules. Choose to work smarter not harder. Start now by taking on the the 5/25 Rule Challenge.

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