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Say Yes to the Great

This next article is part of an ongoing series here at TSB Magazine called The Success Principles. The series is based on the 64 principles laid out by Jack Canfield in his course of the same name. If youre new, I always suggest starting any series from the beginning.

Principle 43: Say No to the Good, So That You Can Say Yes to the Great

How many of us settle for good? Or even worse, mediocre?

By involving our time, energy, or resources in projects or activities that are merely good, we are consistently missing out on the opportunities that are great.

Sounds pretty simple, but it is amazing how many of us are guilty of this.

The Pareto Principle: The Law of 80/20

The basis of the extremely well taught Pareto Principle states that 20% of your activities produce about 80% of your success.

The 80/20 Principle applies to all areas of life. If you want to test the theory to your own life, jot down all the activities that brought you the most success, the most financial gain, the most advancement, and the most enjoyment, and you will find that these activities probably only represent close to 20% of your total output.

I remember when I first heard this principle, I applied it to my dating life. I quickly found that nearly all of my success with women were coming from a few select bars that I was going to. These also happened to be the bars I really enjoyed being at. The other 80% of bars and clubs I was trecking to were producing very little results for me. Since these low result bars were also places I didn’t enjoy going to it was easy for me to eliminate them and only concentrate on the the places that I was seeing success.

The understanding that comes with the realization of this principle is that most our time and energy is dedicated to mundane, non productive, time stealing activity. If you eliminated those activities and focused on the 20% currently bringing you results, just imagine how rapidly you would reach your goals and improve your life.

To learn more about the principle check out the popular book The 80/20 Principle.

How to Determine What is Truly Great, SO You Can Say No To What’s Merely Good

Below Canfield provides us with some nice guidelines to determine which activities should be abandoned and which ones should have more focus places on them.

1. Start by listing your opportunities-one side of the page for the good and the other side of the page for the great. Seeing options in writing will help crystallize your thinking and determine what questions to ask, what information to gather, what your plan of attack might be, and so on. It will help you decide if an opportunity truly fits with your overall life purpose and passion or if it’s just life taking your down a side road.

2. Talk to advisers about this potential pursuit. People who have traveled the road before you have vast experience to share and hard-headed questions to ask about any new life opportunity you might be contemplating. They can talk to you about expected challenges and help you evaluate the hassle factor.

3. Test the waters. Rather than take a leap of faith that the new opportunity will proceed as you expect, conduct a small test, spending a limited amount of time and money. If it’s a new career you’re interested in, first seek part-time work or independent consulting contracts in the field. If it’s a major move or volunteer project you’re excited about, see if you can travel for a few months to your dream locale or find ways to immerse yourself in the volunteer work for several weeks.

4. And finally, look at where you spend your time. Determine if those activities truly serve your goals or if saying no would free up your schedule for more focused pursuits.

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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