A 20:80 Rule

Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist. He published a paper showing that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. His principle, called “Pareto principle” turns out can be applied and used to explain a lot of events that happens in this world. In the field of economics, it can be used to show that roughly 20% of the world’s riches control 80% of world’s income. In the field of business, it can also be used to show that roughly 80% of company’s income come from 20% of its customer, as well as 80% of its complaints comes from 20% of its customer. In the field of linguistic, it can be used to show that 20% most used words in every languages will show 80% of the time in that specific language. The list goes on and on. Heck! It can be used to show that you will use 20% of clothes in your drawer 80% of the time!

As a human however, sometimes it is hard for us to care if one only shows us a statistical number. If I tell you that 80% of people who live in your neighborhood only share 20% of the wealth that your neighborhood have, will you take a glimpse and think about them? I don’t think so. Only when you interact with one of them, meet them face to face in person, you will at least have a feeling that you want to help those in need.

This principle will also tell you that there are exist a number of people, roughly 20% of the people you have met throughout your life, that have a great influence in your life. 80% of your success, what you achieve in your life, will be because of them. They may be people who are in the same class at you when you were in high school, they may be the one that you meet in your office and give you a recommendation letter for your new job, they may be your best friend who sticks with your weirdness, they may be anyone you don’t notice at first. What I know that, you owe these people a thank you.

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