If you’ve ever read a business, productivity, or even personal growth book, you have undoubtedly read about an observation called the Pareto Principle. Even if you haven’t read about it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it has presented itself to you in some shape or form somewhere else — perhaps under the guises of the 80/20 rule or the law of the vital few.
The Pareto Principle, for those of you who don’t know or simply just need a refresher, is named after an Italian economist who, way back in the day, wrote a paper based on a discovery he made that 80% of the land in Italy at the time was owned by 20% of the population. This came out of him stumbling across the fact that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas!
The Pareto Principle is by no means a law, but rather a quite consistent observation that most things in life are not distributed evenly. Essentially, 80% of the output comes from 20% of the input — the ratio can change. This particular principle drives businesses towards eliminating unnecessary clutter and instead hones in on their most vital and productive areas — which in turn creates an even greater level of success.
This could mean that 20% of the employees are producing 80% of the results. Or perhaps, in technology, it could mean that 20% of the bugs cause 80% of the crashes. Or even in sports, 20% of the players could be producing 80% of the points. It’s not that anything outside of the 20% is bad and it doesn’t mean that you have to cut everything else out. It is about focusing the majority of your energy on the vital few and incorporating the other areas elsewhere.
Lately I have been thinking about the Pareto Principle. I've been assessing my life over the past couple months and making tweaks here and there to not only streamline my productivity, but also eliminate as much clutter as possible so that I can set myself on the most powerful trajectory towards my goals and destiny.
Just like I decided what the few areas in my life were that I wanted to focus on, even though other things weren’t necessarily negative, in the spiritual life there are some areas that are a little more important than others. I wanted to discern what these were and it was through this process that I started thinking about the Pareto Principle of Kingdom success.
Intimacy with God and obedience to Him are the two most powerful and important things one could possibly focus on.
As we are intimate with God, spend time talking to Him and meditating on Him, and just simply being with Him, we become more and more like Him. As we become more and more like Him, we start to have our perspectives changed. Our hearts align with His and our understanding deepens. When we become men and women after His own heart, we begin to see as He sees.
When we begin to see as He sees, we can begin to walk obediently on that path. Day by day, as we take small steps on His path, we get deeper into His will for our lives. As we get deeper and deeper into His will for our lives, we realize that there is nothing that is more satisfying and desirable than being with God exactly where He wants you to be. You also begin to realize that God’s plans never fail.
We could read the Bible all day long and memorize entire chapters, yet still not know the Author. We could go to church every Sunday and lift up our hands during worship, but still not have a relationship with the One we are there to worship. Those things are good, but unless you know Him personally they are rather pointless.
We all want to succeed. We all have ambitions. We all have dreams. Some of us are, perhaps unknowingly or stubbornly, still pursuing our own personal dreams. Some of us are surrendered to or are simply more in-tune with the dreams that God has for us. Regardless of where you are on that spectrum, apply the Pareto Principle of Kingdom Success and you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
Recommended Verses: (Matthew 6:33) / (1 John 5:3) / (Romans 2:14-15)