I have a rule. It is called my 70/30 rule. I can’t remember if I heard the notion from someone far wiser than myself or if the realities of life taught it to me. Either way, the 70/30 rule simply states, in life there is likely to be 70% of experiences you enjoy to 30% of those you do not.
This rule can be applied to virtually any situation. Life, work, parenting, and even play offers us a percentage of the same balance. I have discovered that if the mark of 70% of enjoyment is reached, the willingness to endure the remaining 30% of necessary tasks is accepted by most individuals.
This morning, I watched an Olympic athlete very graciously accept accolades for his achievement of a gold medal in Pyeong Chang. He spoke of the hard work it took to reach his goal. Then he spoke about the level of stress he had endured up to his last ski event. His words and body language both confirmed the extreme level of stress he was still recovering from.
The overpowering emotion the athlete was experiencing was relief. Relief at having met his goal, but more so at having the work completed. It struck me how the 70/30 rule applied to his life situation as well. Here was someone who each day chooses to go forward with extensive training and sacrifice. A training regime, many of us would not consider attempting.
He deals with extreme levels of stress but finds immense joy along the way. His payoff is that his joy of training is at a minimum of 70%. In one breath he said how relieved he was that it was over. His next words spoke to his willingness to get back at the training. It was easy to see that his enjoyment of his sport far exceeded the negative impact of the stress, injury, and sacrifice he has to endure in order to participate in it.
70% enjoyment and 30% pure grinding it out work. It seems to be a balance that enables each of us to reach our goals, no matter how big or small. It is not just athletes who know this kind of balance. We all have days of glory. We know those days are often few when compared to the years of effort we put in to get there. Somewhere in that effort though, we find joy in the process. Joy is in the dream. We show up and push ourselves for more than just glory. We show up because it speaks to who we are, what we believe in, and how we view the world around us.
The question we should ask ourselves is, does my life follow the 70/30 rule? Is my day to day life 70% enjoyable? If it is, congratulations. You are living an inspired and fulfilling life. If your answer is no, now might be a good time to spend some time reflecting on what makes you happy. Each time you consider a scenario that will bring you joy, ask yourself if you are willing to do the 30% that is less than glamorous in order to live those experiences. If you answer yes, then go out and find a way to reach those goals.
My wish for you is to live a happy, prosperous, fully enjoyable life. I believe each of us has the potential to do so. Nobody’s life is perfect. We all have a little 30% to contend with. So let’s do our best to focus on the 70% that makes it all worth the while.