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IDEAS. STRATEGY. TACTICS. INNOVATION. INSPIRATION.

The Downside of Being Effective


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The Pareto Principle or the 80/20 Rule dictates that you advance better in life by focusing on the things that bring you the most success. If 20% of your customers drive 80% of your revenue then you concentrate your efforts on that lucrative subset. Or if specific career choices boost your prospects, you of course continue on that path.

In this thoughtful article, author James Clear turns this theory on its head, suggesting that perhaps we actually miss out by only doubling down only on what works, and that the "downside of being effective is that you often optimize for your past rather than for your future.”

Though changing course by learning a new skill, going on an adventure or switching careers may seem counterproductive or a waste of time, does that necessarily mean it’s the wrong path to go down?

“The 80/20 Rule will help you find the useful things in your past and get more of them in the future. But if you don’t want your future to be more of your past, then you need a different approach.”