success in life

Pareto principle (important/non-important)

Pareto Principle: Get rid of the less important, using the 80-20 rule!

Pareto Principle: Get rid of the less important, using the 80-20 rule!25601389Manolis Stratakis

The Pareto Principle (80-20 rule)

Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist realized that 80% of his country’s wealth was held by 20% of the Italian population. It didn’t take long for him to understand that this was true, not only for Italy but also for the rest of the world. On top of that, it was not only true regarding the distribution of wealth but it was valid in a much wider context. All that, led to the Pareto principle.

Let’s see this principle under the prism of personal development. We can say that 20% of our effort is responsible for about 80% of the desired outcome. The rest 80%, accounts only for the 20% of the outcome. The more we apply this principle in our everyday life, the more we realize that it is an invaluable tool for clarity and self-awareness. After all, it helps us distinguish between the vital few and the trivial many. In other words, between the few important and the many unimportant.

Pareto principle (important/non-important)

Some examples of the Pareto Principle

  • 20% of our clients bring 80% of our revenues
  • 20% of advertisement accounts for 80% of sales
  • We wear 20% of our clothes in the 80% of the time
  • From 20% of our friends we get 80% of support and satisfaction
  • In 20% of our home we spend 80% of our time
  • 20% of emails contain 80% of the important information
  • 20% of a meal contributes to the 80% of calories we take
  • Also the 20% of a dinner gives us the 80% of enjoyment (those eating their dinner indifferently, while eagerly waiting for the desert to arrive, are probably resonating with this example)
  • A 20% of illnesses is responsible for the 80% of deaths in the world
  • 20% of our experiences provides the 80% of our satisfaction
  • The 20% of a book contains 80% of most important knowledge and also 20% of the books we have read, contribute to 80% of our present education
  • 20% of the code running on a computer takes 80% of the CPU time

Of course, the ratio 20-80 is only approximate, it could be 30-70, 10-90 or anything similar. However the principle is valid in many different occasions. You can surely come up with your own examples from your personal experience.

What matters most, is the exact composition of the 20% and 80%. In other words, what falls under the 20% and what falls under the 80%.


  • Which part is the 20% of your Garde robe that you use 80% of the time?
  • From which 20% of your activities 20% you receive the 80% of your satisfaction?
  • In what do you spend 80% of your money which only contributes a 20% to your happiness?
  • Which 20% of your work brings the 80% of your results?
  • What 80% of the time you spend on the phone is not important?
  • Which 80% of your luggage contents is really necessary?

Pareto’s principle can be applied again and again in an iterative manner. After we have decluttered our wardrobe by throwing away or giving out the 1/5th of our clothes which we rarely use, we can then apply the same principle again achieving an even finer result. The same can happen with our clients, our diet, our appointments and generally the management of all our critical resources.

The Pareto Principle in time management

Applying Pareto’s principle in everyday life can free up a lot of time, which was – until recently – spent in not important activities. For each activity filling up your day, ask yourself how useful it is. Then, use Pareto analysis in order to identify whether they belong in the important 20% or in the unimportant 80%.

Do more by doing less!

Finally, think how much time and energy you would free up after you stopped worrying about the last 20% (the least important), i.e. all those activities which return almost zero results. By doing less you end up doing much more! The trick is knowing which part to get rid of.


See also our article “Eisenhower’s Matrix: An essential time management tool

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How high is your Emotional Intelligence?

How high is your Emotional Intelligence?15871116Manolis Stratakis

Emotional Intelligence

We once thought that IQ was the magic bullet for success in life. However, this is no longer considered to be true. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) seems to be the most important factor determining how successful someone will become.

EQ and IQ

According to the work of Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence contributes an 80% to success in life. On the other hand, IQ provides the rest 20%. That is, EQ is 5-6 times more important than IQ. None of them is considered fixed and permanent. But Emotional Intelligence has the greater margins for growth. In other words, EQ can be trained. Let’s check the levels of our own EQ and see how we can improve it!

Emotional Intelligence - Abstract painting - Manolis Stratakis

Emotional Intelligence Exercise: Check your EQ

Below, there is a list of qualities, which are common in people with high EQ. Check which of those you possess and mark them from 1-10.

  1. [ ] ​Self-control and self-discipline
  2. [ ] Impulse control
  3. [ ] Openness, adaptation and embracing change
  4. [ ] Ability to perform under conditions of pressure
  5. [ ] Good understanding of own emotions
  6. [ ] Good understanding of the emotions of others
  7. [ ] Awareness of strengths and weaknesses
  8. [ ] Optimism
  9. [ ] Self-confidence
  10. [ ] Good communication skills
  11. [ ] Acceptance of criticism by other people
  12. [ ] Disagree without causing tension
  13. [ ] Offer constructive criticism
  14. [ ] Initiative taking
  15. [ ] Cultivate trust in relationships
  16. [ ] Self-motivation in order to reach goals
  17. [ ] Ability to lead and influence
  18. [ ] Resist prejudice
  19. [ ] Decisiveness
  20. [ ] Persuasion
  21. [ ] Patience
  22. [ ] Persistence
  23. [ ] Curiosity
  24. [ ] Ability to inspire others
  25. [ ] Cooperate without competing
  26. [ ] Teamwork
  27. [ ] Maintain control in crisis situations
  28. [ ] Control impatience
  29. [ ] Ability to focus
  30. [ ] Acceptance of defeat and failure
  31. [ ] Listen before talking
  32. [ ] Acceptance of our weaknesses
  33. [ ] Personal and work ethics
  34. [ ] Ability to neutralize toxic people
  35. [ ] Give without expecting
  36. [ ] Know when and feeling comfortable saying no
  37. [ ] Ability to slow down, disconnect and relax
  38. [ ] Quick recovery after a mistake or failure
  39. [ ] Robust emotional vocabulary
  40. [ ] Resist perfectionism

I have vs I want

Next, identify which skills you already have and which ones you want. Make a note of those that you score high and those you score low. Then, write them down in two separate columns, as shown in the following table:

I have enough

I want to improve

Lock the target

Finally, let’s lock the target. Make a note of those which seem particularly appealing to you. That is, the ones you would like to see in your new version. You will also need to be clear about why you want to have them. In addition, think about the benefit of having each of them. If you know people who already have these qualities, take them as role models.

Let this new realization linger in your mind for the days to come. As long as you keep it in your radar, you will surely find the way to upgrade yourself.


Also, see the article: Gratitude Jar: Empower your gratitude muscles!

🤿 For more information, visit the blog of Daniel Goleman, author of “EQ: Why it can matter more than IQ”.


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life wheel eng example

Wheel of Life: The big picture of your life!

Wheel of Life: The big picture of your life!25601789Manolis Stratakis

Wheel of Life

The Wheel of Life is a powerful coaching tool. It provides an effective way to see the big picture of your life. It helps us to visualize how we spend our energy and time across its most important areas. We often focus too intensely in one area and overlook some of the others. But in order to be happy, we need to have a satisfactory overall performance.

The Life Wheel is shown below. It is a pizza-shaped graph, with each of its eight segments representing one major area of life:

life wheel

Fig: Wheel of Life

Major areas of life

The wheel contains eight areas of life, which are considered quite important. However, feel free to change any of them, in a way that suits you best.

  • Career
  • Finance
  • Health
  • Family and friends
  • Romance
  • Personal development
  • Free time and interests
  • Social contribution

Life Wheel Exercise

  1. Take some time to think and evaluate how well you do in each different area. How satisfied you are.
  2. Mark your satisfaction from 1 to 10. Don’t try very hard to be very accurate. Just provide the answer that first comes to your mind.
  3. When you are done with your evaluation and marking, take another moment to think how important each of these areas are to you at present. Then, mark their importance from 1-10.


Your wheel should look like the following arbitrary example:

life wheel example

Time for self-reflection

That’s it, almost finished! Now, prepare a drink, sit in a relaxed posture and do some reflection. Above all, it will give you important awareness about what these results actually mean to you.

Check how effective your wheel is. Is it round or bumpy? Does it roll smoothly? Look at the areas where you feel there is room for improvement.

Finally, set some specific goals about what you can improve in the areas you have picked.


See also our article: Cantril Ladder: improve the Quality of your Life!

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