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How to Change Your Efforts and Gain Maximum Results?

Time distribution and the efforts we pay are major issues. Instead of complaining, it's time to change. A step can start a trip.

They know when to rest and when to work

They know when to rest and when to work

How many of your clothes do you usually wear?

Perhaps you have 20 T-shirts, but you stick with your three favorites. Right?

How many dishes have you tasted in your life?

Hundreds, probably.

Yet, how many do you have regularly?

Few. About ten to twenty recipes, on average.

The ‌same, favorite ones keep repeating week after week.


The beneficial inequality

There are many ramifications in every activity. Nature plays games.

We try to find laws but what we do is name the content of our perception.

We can never grab the whole thing but only a tiny fraction of it. This is just the way things are.

This keeps our balance.

Imagine that you could remember everything that happened in your life in full detail. Or that your senses could receive and process all the events, objects, and phenomena that take place in front of you at any given moment.

This could either turn us into gods or crush us under the vast amount of data.

So, what’s the key?

Is our ability for depth, a matter of how much info we get?

We need another form of perception.

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We are obsessed with dreams of omnipotence.

We have created a civilization based on these dreams.

This endeavor changed our world.

Sometimes, it is for our benefit.

Some other times, it loads us with anxiety and depression in this never-ending “accumulation race”.

More proof

I must warn you not to make this mistake. Don't think in political or sociological terms. We are not here to talk about the inequality of this or that system. We want to understand and gain from the way nature operates. We will listen to nature.

So, let's think...

20 percent of criminals commit 80 percent of the crimes.

20 percent of movies make 80 percent of the money.

20 percent of the authors sell 80 percent of the books.

In most companies, 20 percent of the products make 80 percent of the profit.

Perhaps, in the same way, 20 percent of your daily activities produce 80 percent of your happiness and success.

The number isn't always the exact 80/20 analogy.

Sometimes it’s closer to 70/30, others can be 90/10.

What is the lesson here?

Only a minority of causes, inputs, or efforts usually leads to the majority of the results, outputs, or rewards.”

Look around you. Then try to look deep inside you at common things, habits, and practices.

Can you find the dominant forces behind your successes?

Can you focus on them and multiply the results?

Looking at known facts in an unknown way.

What I said started about 120 years ago. It resulted from the studies of the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923).

A man of many qualities, he contributed to engineering, sociology, economics, and philosophy. He is the thinker who popularized the term "elite".

And, he is the first man who noticed these facts. He made his conclusions after researching the wealth of nations and individuals. Regardless of the system that prevailed at any specific moment. Regardless of the government or the general financial situation, the 80/20 analogy was and still is present.

After WWII, G.K. Zipf, a Harvard professor, discovered the "Principle of Least Effort". He ended up with similar results to Pareto.

In 1951, J.M. Juran, an engineer, had the idea of using the Pareto principle (among other methods), to improve the reliability and efficiency in the production of goods. He published the Quality Control Handbook and found… an unwilling reception in the USA.

In 1953, he was invited to Japan, where he stayed and worked for corporations for almost two decades.

The progress of the Japanese industry and economy is related to him.

Lazy+intelligent= highly efficient

I don't imply that laziness is a valuable human virtue. But, sometimes a combination of qualities and handicaps can produce unique results. Entrepreneurs to generals ‌have a peculiar preference for lazy but clever people.

Walter Percy Chrysler, the founder of the namesake industry, was asked to whom he would assign a laborious task. With no hesitation, he answered:

"To a lazy guy. Because he will find the easiest and fastest solution".

Von Manstein, a German general, had divided officers into four categories.

The worst… stupid and hard working.

The best… lazy and intelligent.

So, we get closer to a realistic approach to the Pareto principle.

It's not that encourages laziness. The goal is to work your brains toward a solution smartly. Not to use extreme force or blindly put in a huge amount of effort.

It's all a matter of distinction; separating the vital from the insignificant.

Abundance is not the fruit of hard work.

It's the result of the right work.

In the Levant, a tradition of spiritual guides that extends almost 2000 years in the past, values every quality one person possesses, but only one stands above the rest: to make the right distinctions.

To distinguish the essential from the minor.

You make a cut between causes and effects, the vital and the trivial.

How can we improve ourselves realistically?

If we make every day some, even small, improvements.

Wouldn't this be a real step closer to happiness and prosperity?

A cat normally sleeps up to 20 hours a day. When necessary, she can get up and run in the blink of an eye.

Have you believed in the Pareto Principle?

The main thing is to make minor changes. If this turns into a habit, the results are cumulative.

Japanese have a word for that.

Kaizen.

Small daily improvements. It brings enormous advantages.

What is tested is our persistence.

We don't have to push ourselves to the limit. The goal is to make small but continuous changes.

The Pareto Principle makes a difference.

Because it teaches us to focus on the important few and not on the insignificant many.

Think, how many apps does your tablet or your mobile phone have? Hundreds almost.

How many do you use?

Perhaps only ten.

How many things do you do every day?

How many of these essentially contribute to your wellbeing?

So we come to view the connection between causes and effects in a new light.

Yet, we still ‌see a linear correlation between things. We have been taught and trained to do so.

But does nature work in this way?

Physics has given us some revolutionary insights.

Even though we cannot disconnect the cause-effect principle from our perception, the world seems to work differently.

You cannot force an electron to stand still, you cannot understand how it moves, how it behaves, how it exists.

Chaotic mathematics affirms this nonlinearity.

The 19th century inherited us with the wish to see the world as a perfect machine, one that works like a clock. We are taught the basics about atoms, electrons, and the planet model. This is suitable for a first approach, but far from our present knowledge of the physical world. Causes and effects are a natural mode of our perception. Yet, they are not enough. Or at least, they are not as strict as we thought they were at the end of the 19th century. Now we find ourselves in a very unstable position.

Is this bad?

Not at all...

To see the universe as a steady rock is as close to reality as witches flying on brooms.

Equilibrium is illusory.

A new world unveils itself, and that’s fascinating.

An intriguing world of constant movement.

A world of freedom.

The imbalance of the Pareto principle implies, and the findings of modern physics and Chaos theory offer, form a challenging environment. Both naturally and mentally.

The sensitive dependence on initial conditions that the Chaos theory supports is closer to our psychical experience.

Our lives incorporate an unequal percentage between the important and the insignificant.

Memory can be a strict advocate for this position.

It filters and deletes so many that we can hardly remember a specific event in an entire year.

What's the lesson of the Pareto principle?

In anything can be waste.

Few things are important.


© 2022 STAMATIOS SOUFLERIS

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