Audrey Hepburn was an icon.
Having gained popularity in the 1950s, she was one of the greatest actresses of that era. In 1953, Hepburn became the first actress to win an Oscar, a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Award for one single role: the main role in the romantic comedy “Roman Holiday”.
Even today, half a century later, she remains one of 15 people who have received EGOT, that is, all four major awards in the entertainment industry: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. By the 1960s, with her participation, on average, more than one new film was released per year, and, according to a general assessment, she had to remain a leading movie star for decades.
But then something strange happened: she stopped acting in films.
Despite the fact that Hepburn was only 30 years old and it was the height of her popularity, she almost did not appear on movie screens after 1967. Throughout the rest of her life, she only participated five times in the filming of television series and movies.
Hepburn completely changed the scope of activities.For the next 25 years, she dedicated herself to relentless work at UNICEF, a United Nations arm that supplies food and medicine to children in war-torn countries. She performed volunteer work throughout Africa, South America and Asia.
Hepburn played her first act on stage. Her next act was ministry. In December 1992, she was awarded the Presidential Medal for Freedom, which is the highest civilian award of the United States.
We will return to the story about her in a moment.
Effective versus optimal
You are given only one precious life. How are you going to live it? Fans of high performance will often suggest that you focus on more effective than on the most optimal.
Efficiency is to get the most. The best is the best quality. Peter Drucker, a well-known management consultant, once summarized this idea: "There is nothing more useless than a huge production of what you shouldn’t do at all."
In other words, success is achieved not by any productivity, but only by productivity in doing the right things.
But how do you decide which ones are “correct”? One of the best ways to determine this is the Pareto Principle, which is often called the “80/20 Rule”.
Rule 80/20 states that in any field of activity 80% of the result is provided by 20% of the actions (or people). For example, 80 percent of the land in Italy is owned by 20 percent of people. Or 75 percent of the NBA championships are won by 20 percent of the teams. One should not aim for 100%. From a certain point, the result is no longer worth the effort.
Positive aspect of the 80/20 Rule
With reference to your life or work, the 80/20 Rule can help you to separate "a little vital from a lot of trivial." For example, business owners may find that most of their income comes from a handful of important customers. The 80/20 rule would recommend that it would be most effective to focus solely on servicing these customers (and finding others like them) and stop servicing others, allowing most customers to gradually disappear because they bring only a small portion of the total income.
The same strategy can be beneficial from another point of view.If you analyze your problems, you will find that a very small handful of clients give you the most trouble. Rule 80/20 would recommend that you stop to deal with the complaints of these customers and refuse their service.
The 80/20 rule is somewhat similar to judo techniques. If you correctly determine at what point the pressure should be applied, you will be able to achieve the greatest result with the least effort. This is a great strategy, and I myself have used it many times.
But this approach has a downside, and is often forgotten about it. To understand where the "ambush" is, we return to Audrey Hepburn.
Reverse side of the 80/20 Rules
Suppose that now - 1967, Audrey Hepburn is at the zenith of fame and is trying to decide what to devote to the rest of his life.
If she uses Rule 80/20 to make a decision, she will find a clear answer: as much as possible to appear in romantic comedies.
Most of the best films with Hepburn were romantic comedies: “Roman Holiday”, “Sabrina”, “Breakfast at Tiffany” and “Charade”. She played the main roles in these four films between 1953 and 1963, by 1967 her interests were already different.These films gave her a wide audience, the opportunity to receive awards and were the obvious way to the greatest fame and fortune. Romantic comedies were optimal.
Even if we proceed from the fact that Hepburn’s main desire was to help children with the help of UNICEF, the analysis of Rule 80/20 shows that the best solution would be to continue acting in romantic comedies and get the maximum income that could be spent on solving problems UNICEF.
Of course, all this looks good and reasonable - but with one exception: Hepburn no longer wanted to be removed. She wanted to devote herself to serving the people. And in 1967, no rational analysis could predict that it would achieve great results by working for UNICEF.
This is the other side of the 80/20 Rule: at the beginning of a journey, a new direction never seems to be the most optimal.
Optimal in the past and optimal for the future
Consider another example.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, worked on Wall Street and successfully rose through the ranks, becoming the first vice-president of the hedge fund - after which he left all this in 1994 to establish his company.
If Bezos had used Rule 80/20 in 1993 to figure out how to best make his career, most likely, Internet companies would not even be on the list in question. At that time, there was no doubt that the best way — whether it was financial gain, social status, or anything else — would be a continuation of a career in finance.
Rule 80/20 is based on an analysis of the effectiveness of your recent past. And, no matter what seems to you the most optimal way of further development, it will be an assessment of your previous skills and current capabilities.
The 80/20 rule will help you find useful things in your past and use them in the future. But if you do not want your future to be just a repetition of your past on a slightly higher level, then you will need a different approach.
So what should be done?
Here is the good news: having spent a sufficient amount of time and effort on practice, you will be able to make optimal the path of development that previously seemed to be suboptimal. You are developing in the field in which you work.
When Audrey Hepburn in 1967 decided to finish with his already established film career, her decision seemed silly.But three decades later, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom - an outstanding award that she would never have received, continuing to act in comedies.
When acquiring new skills, establishing a new company, or participating in any new adventure, it will always seem at first that this path is not effective. In comparison with other things that you have already mastered, everything new at first seems like a waste of time, and Rule 80/20 will never advise you.
But this does not mean that your decision will be wrong.
Especially for the readers of my blog Muz4in.Net - under the article
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