The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less


I received this book as a Christmas gift from my daughter Mey. Knowing how much she pursues economic independence in order to reach her goal to work and live at home with her son, I figured it was worth a read. Little did I realize how familiar the concepts were in relation to my studies on economic theory years ago.


The author, Richard Koch takes us into the world of economics and literally applies these principles to personal growth. Why did I select this book as a good read? As a self-published author I spend an exhausting amount of time  to publicize my book. Richard Koch describes “how anyone can accomplish much more with less effort, time, and resources by focusing on what counts”. Like the book’s title says, we can accomplish more with our life with 20 per cent effort and produce an 80 per cent outcome.

The book is divided up into economic self-help and personal growth. Instead of thumbing through the pages (like I do), the author lets you choose where to start reading. Koch asks the reader beforehand on whether they are more interested in the importance of business applications or to make major improvements in their life, using the 80/20 Principle. He then leads you straight to the contents of most interest.

Koch did not come up with the Principle,  Vilfredo Pareto coined it the Pareto Principle. Koch did take it to new heights and explains step by step how to use the Principle in laymen language. The Principle is derived from the chaos doctrine; to keep it simple: we all know how a deadbolt works: we put in a key, turn and voilà, the door is open. But most of us may not understand all those mystifying parts inside the knob that make it easy to turn the key with ease. Just looking into the internal mechanism seems chaotic, but it works. The world, is a chaotic geographical and biological structure populated by people with their feet to the ground, yet we live on a planet suspended in midair. How it that possible, and do we care?

Like it or not, our thoughts become chaotic when emotional circumstances leading to negativity need to be resolved. Until they are, a habit of over-cautiousness sets in, hindering progress, preventing us from seeing outside the box. Koch outlines a path to reach better outcomes by identifying positive and negative emotions so that one may change bad habits keeping us from moving forward. One of the concepts is to become happier by strengthening emotional intelligence. What is emotional intelligence?

 Excerpt: Even though a high IQ is no guarantee of prosperity, prestige, or happiness in life, our schools and our culture fixate on academic abilities, ignoring emotional intelligence, a set of traits—some might call it character—that also matters immensely for our personal destiny. (Daniel Goleman)

 Be ready to answer a lot of personal questions that will help you recover from upsetting emotions that produce inertia. I have to admit the book helped me identify circumstances leading to stress. I have a better understanding of what makes me tick and what bogs me down. I’ve become more motivated. I am now tackling the first half of the book dealing with economical output. Looks like  a bit of math involved, but I noticed there’s quite a few diagrams that may prove helpful.

About M Theresa Tseng

Aside from reading a lot of sci-fi novels, I am a big fan of Japanese anime and Manga. Veluli is my first science fiction project and I had a lot of fun writing it and I hope you enjoy reading it. Book two will be forthcoming.
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