Tag Archive | 80/20

Measuring Progress

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I measure progress?”

“There are many metrics you can use. One of them is time.

Robert Greene makes a wonderful distinction between dead time and alive time. I find it a useful dichotomy. 

How much time are you killing every day?

You can use the two as a measuring – and contrasting – tool by thinking of them as a daily ratio (dead-time/alive-time ratio).

As concerns alive time, the Pareto Principle (80/20) is another useful dichotomy. A small number of things disproportionately contribute to your overall well-being and sense of Meaning.

How much time are you dedicating to your 20% every day?

You can use 80/20 as a measuring tool as well by turning it into a daily ratio (80-time/20-time ratio).”

“What about the time that is not in your control?”

“Turn all the time you can control, however little, into 20-time.

Turn all the time you can’t control into alive time.”

On Values and Clarity

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“An essential aspect of the Wisdom journey is gaining Clarity on your Values. There’s two aspects to this:

Gaining clarity on what your Values are.
Gaining clarity on each Value individually.”

“How do you gain the second kind of clarity?”

“You can think of Values as guides. The clearer they are, the better they can guide you.

You can also think of Values as practice. Clarity reveals the details of the practice.

To gain clarity, I find it useful to write them down. I have a document with all my core Values:









Underneath each Value, there’s a selection of quotes / directives expressing different aspects of the practice.

Details about the Value

Something like this:


Live a Creative Life. (Robert Rodriguez)

Be your unapologetically weird self. (Chris Sacca)

EVERYTHING is the Beautiful Game [<link, medium length],

It’s ALL Play.

Regain the freedom to create like a child. (Josh Waitzkin)

Maximize each moment’s creative potential. (Josh Waitzkin)

Find the Gem
Think of your life as a game in which each problem you face is a puzzle to solve. By solving the puzzle, you get a gem in the form of a principle that helps you avoid the same sort of problem in the future. (Ray Dalio)


Love what Is. (Byron Katie)
Amor Fati (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Love what you Do. (Marie Forleo)
ALWAYS do your best. (Miguel Ruiz)

Love the Storm. (Josh Waitzkin)


Take NOTHING for granted.

Celebrate every little win.
Celebrate how far you’ve come.
Celebrate your Beautiful BodyMind.

Find the Gift
EVERYTHING you experience has a hidden Gift inside of it. The puzzle is to discover it, and express Gratitude for it.

I have a tendency to add too much stuff, so I pass everything I add to the document through the 80/20 filter, and I constantly ask myself:

What can I eliminate?”

Joy Of Missing Out

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I get rid of the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)?”

“Ask yourself:

What 20 percent of things in your life are responsible for 80 percent of your success and happiness?

Focus exclusively on those, and design your life around them.

Time is limited. 
Everything you do has an opportunity cost
Everything you do from the 80 category steals precious time away from the 20 category.

Keep that in mind always as you replace FOMO with JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out).

Your Heroes as Resource

Bring your heroes to mind when you feel tempted to do silly impulsive, distracting things. (Brian Johnson)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“This is such a powerful tool. But I keep forgetting to use it.“

“The more often you bring your Heroes to mind, the more present they will be in your mind, so the higher the chance of remembering to do it when in need.

Make it part of your daily priming. 
Have a list of the Heroes who most inspire you [80/20], and look at it often.

To make it easier to bring to mind, identify the top three:

Who are your top three Heroes?

Essential Connections

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What are essential connections?”

“One aspect of learning is the accumulation of information. There’s too much information out there, so we need to be selective. That is, focus only on the most important – essential – bits.” 

“So, using the 80/20 (Pareto) model, we need to focus on the 20 percent.”


I like to think of information by using the network model. A network is a structure made up of two components: nodes and connections. In the early stages of ‘learning literacy’, we tend to think of information only as the nodes. Learning how to learn brings about an important realization:

Both the nodes and the connections encode information. 

Moreover, the most important information is encoded in the connections. That’s what we call ‘understanding’.

Not all connections are created equal. Some are weaker, some are stronger. Some are more meaningful than others. We can look at connections too through the 80/20 filter. I call the 20 percent most meaningful ones essential connections.”

Beautiful Models: 1/20/80

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is 1/20/80?”

“It’s a practical tool I created for myself. A combination between two models: 80/20 (Pareto) and One Thing (Monad).”

“Can you give an example?”

“Let’s say you want to organize your values.

First you make a list of your values, then you pass them through the 80/20 filter. 

What 20% of your values are most meaningful for you?

That’s what I call the meta-values [link; medium length].

Among the 20%, you select one that is central. That is the access-point [<link; medium]. Whenever you mentally access your values, you start with the access-point. You can think of 1/20/80 as filters on top of one another. You first look through the 1 filter, then the 20, then the 80.

In case of my values, it looks like this:

1-filter: Presence
20-filter: Beauty, Play, Love, Gratitude, Simplicity, Balance
80-filter: the rest of my values”

Daily Rituals 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Viewed through the 80/20 (Pareto) filter, what’s the most important part of the day, the 20%?”

“The beginning and the end. Those are the parts you have most control over. They give the day structure and momentum. I like to think of them as the AM and PM Rituals.”

“What’s your process for creating them?”

“I start with two questions:

What do you want to think?
What do you want to do?

As concerns the thinking, there’s two aspects to it:

How do you want to think about the process in the moment? [as a means to make it meaningful]


The process as Ritual
The process as

What’s the first thing you want to think when you wake up in the morning?
What’s the first thing you want to think when you close your eyes at night?

You can have a (slightly different) little mantra for each.


I want to start and end the day with Love and Gratitude, so my mantra has the structure:

Good morning/night Dani
Love mantra
Gratitude mantra

As concerns the doing, this has to do with creating sequences of specific actions. You can think of them as checklists. You can start by having them written down, until you internalize them.


AM Ritual:
Making bed
Drinking water
Activation [
energizing yourself]
– Mental: Writing / Journaling
– Physical: Moving
Priming [
readying your Compass]
– Recommitment
[Purpose, Goals]

PM Ritual:
Reflection on the day
– Writing / Journaling
Preparation for the next day
Priming [
something for your mind to work on over night]
– MIQ (Most Important Question)

“Does the order in which you do them matter?”

“It doesn’t.

Play with them, experiment.
Experiment with the content,
experiment with the sequencing,
experiment with the duration,
until you find the structure that works best for you.

One important aspect is to not just go through the motions. 

How you do them is as important as doing them. 

Strive to do them mindfully, to be totally present in the doing. That’s the purpose of thinking of the entire process as Meditation. You can even ask yourself at the end:

How present was I?

The Art of Perception 5

A problem is a terrible thing to waste. (Peter Diamandis)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I solve this problem?”

“Before you set to working on a problem [Particular], work on your relationship with ‘problem’ as a concept [General]. 

What does ‘problem’ mean to you?
Does it have a positive or negative connotation?

You can work on beautifying its representation [<link; medium length].

The result can be something like this:


I call this a meaning-map.

The nodes in blue are values.
The nodes in pink are representations.”

“Can you explain it as a step-by-step process?”


Start from the central node and brainstorm on it, connecting it with your central values and coming up with meaningful representations for it – meaningful for you.

Then pass it through the 80/20 filter, selecting the 20% most powerful representations.

Work on internalizing those representations [Deliberate Practice] such that whenever you think ‘problem’, the representations automatically come to mind.”

On Pleasure 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What pleasures are worth cultivating?”

“Pleasures too can be viewed through the 80/20 (macro-)filter. 80% of them are not worth cultivating. Most bring marginal benefits and/or have a high opportunity cost.”

“How would you narrow down the 20%?”

“Through more filtering. I’m thinking of three filters in particular: Simplicity, Meaning, and Usefulness. Expressed as directives:

Cultivate simple pleasures. 

Cultivate pleasure for and (re)learn to appreciate what you already have. They’re more numerous than you realize.

Cultivate meaningful pleasures.

Cultivate pleasures that are aligned with your values and your purpose.

Cultivate useful pleasures.

Cultivate pleasures that add persistent value to your life, that grow and strengthen you.”

80/20 Organizing

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“You use a lot of categories (tags) to organize your notes. If you were to pick just ONE, what would it be?”

80/20 – the Pareto Principle.

20% of the inputs are responsible for 80% of the outputs.

This is a principle worth deeply internalizing and applying in all areas of your life.”