Getting clarity with “Extreme Pareto”

You know what the 80/20 principle is, right? Here’s one Pareto Principle definition I personally like:

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.


I’ve had great success with the Pareto Principle. It is has helped me with some of the most vital decisions of my life.

Unfortunately, 80/20 doesn’t work for everyone. Or perhaps more accurately most people would like to believe it doesn’t work. It cannot be that easy! Maybe they have a point. The 80/20 principle would only take you so far but that shouldn’t stop you from going far and beyond. In fact, you can go a little extreme by finding the “vital few” of the vital few.

Here’s how:

  1. Identify the top 20 percent of your life’s priorities
  2. Now take the 20 percent of the 20 percent
  3. And again 20 percent of the 20 percent that you just arrived at
  4. Keep going until you’re staring at the single most important thing in your life

That, my friend, is your ONE thing.

The Extreme Pareto (EP) has been one of the most potent tools in my arsenal. It ruthlessly cuts right into the heart of the matter. No excuses. No BS. Just the truth. And boy, it can be painful! Why? Because as humans we’re conditioned to be comfortable so much so that we would like to have choices even if it’s a matter of life and death. No kidding!

EP snatches away that cushion and exposes your reality. The one that you refuse to take a look at. Try it and you’ll know. And it’s simple enough to remember: the 20% of the original 80/20, the 20% of the 20%, the 20% of that and you go on until you have that ONE thing that matters to you most. That is where you want to play a 100% of the time.

So, what is your ONE thing?

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