The principle named after Vilfredo Pareto spotlights the “law of the valuable few”.
Or stated differently, 20% of the things you try will bring 80% of your success.
There are 2 approaches to applying this principle.
#1 – Try 100 different things, so that you’ll hit upon the 20 that work.
#2 – Try and come up with only the 20 that will work.
But with approach #2, since Pareto principle will be at play even here, only 20% of your ‘best guesses’ will be right!
As kids, many people dream about becoming a doctor. Saving lives. Curing illness. Making a difference.
And then, something happens; interests change; life takes a different direction. But a deep yearning still remains of what might have been.
Well, let’s play ‘Doctor’. Imagine that you have become a doctor. A surgeon. You are at the operation table, scrubbed and gowned, standing over a patient, ready to begin a complex procedure.
Right at that moment, your cellphone rings. It’s your wife calling. What are you going to do?
Surgery begins. “Scalpel”, you call. Make an incision. The OR door swings open and another doctor runs in, excitedly sharing the breaking news of a stock market crash. What will you do?
The operation proceeds. It’s a tough case. Takes longer than you expected. You’re getting hungry. Thoughts of the hot, spicy snack they’ll be serving just about now in the canteen assail your mind. What will you do?
It’s nearly over. The repair is finished. All that remains is to make sure everything’s ok, then sew up the incision you made many hours ago. You’re tired. Bored. What are you going to do?
The reason I left these questions unanswered until now is simple. The answer is always the same.
You just KEEP GOING!
And going on until you’re all done. Till your patient is healthy and well. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, how hard it is, how tired or hungry or bored you are… you just keep going.
Now imagine you’re playing ‘doctor’ with whatever you’re doing today. It may be writing a book. Or building a website. Or cooking dinner. Or running your business. Or drafting sales copy. Or planning an ad campaign. Or playing with your daughter. Or driving over to visit your mom. Or helping your spouse clean up.
Are you going to go half-way down the path, and then turn back, or get distracted, or just stop because you’re too tired?
Or are you going to keep going on – until you’re done with it?
Think about your next project like an unfinished operation you’re performing as a surgeon. If you abandon it mid-way through, your ‘patient’ could die. Focus on getting it done. That way lies success and happiness – in anything.
Yes, even in being a doctor!
I read a blog. It was about an event that happened some years ago. That event touched – and changed – many lives.
On that day, something changed. It happened INSIDE my mind. It was validation of a hope or dream that I had nurtured. It showed me that it was possible.
And that change had dramatic impact.
At that point, I was earning a modest income from my online business. Within the next two years, and aided by some powerful coaching by a business genius named Jay Abraham, I was donating more than that amount to my non-profit OUT OF my business profits!
It was the dream I had when I started online. I had planned to sponsor heart surgery for children in India who came from under-privileged families by earning enough money from my writing.
Today, the Dr.Mani Children Heart Foundation has funded over 100 operations. There are many smiling faces that were made possible by that dream. And at the heart of the dream was a mindset that took root on a very special day – August 17th, 2004.
Here’s the comment I posted on that blog:
For my CHD list, I was drafting out a similar note – to mark this special occasion.
What makes John’s ‘Million Dollar Day’ more uniquely special to me is that it was followed up by a donation of $10,000 to my non-profit foundation – which sponsored heart surgery for 4 children.
I like what John says about MINDSET. That single donation broke barriers in MY mind.
Over the years since, I have not only donated a lot to my foundation, I have donated to another foundation that builds houses for the homeless in another desperately poor country halfway across the world.
And in the process of doing so, inspired many more entrepreneurs, start up business owners and writers to reach out for their dreams.
That’s a RIPPLE.
One that started out in one mind, reaches across a globally networked world to touch and resonate with other people, inspires them to live up to their potential, and in turn encourages even more others to do the same.
In reality, then, it was NOT a ‘Million Dollar Day’ – it was more likely a BILLION DOLLAR DAY
It is my fond hope that by sharing this with you, I’ve helped set off another ripple. One that will spark off a fire in your heart. And encourage YOU to dream boldly – and then set out and change the world, in your own unique way.
And live your dreams.
But You’ve Still Got To DO Something!
I begin my day with a cup of green tea, with a twist of lemon.
Today, we were out of lemons.
I went downstairs into the garden, walked up to the lemon tree in our front yard, and shook it.
I shook it again. Still nothing happened.
I glanced up into the branches. There were many fruits.
Once again, I gave the trunk a good shake.
A large, ripe, yellow lemon dropped down and rolled to my feet!
A frisson of delight rippled through me.
You ask for it – and within minutes, you receive it.
Of course, you still have to go down to the tree – and shake it long enough!