As we focus on optimizing our lives, we might give too much value to what is uncontrollable. We might think that it’s the last piece of the puzzle to have a “perfect” life.
For example, let’s say that 98% of things in your life go well. You’re healthy. You have a loving partner. You have a stable financial situation. Your life is generally good.
But that 2%, usually uncontrollable factors like the political situation in your country, have a disproportionate impact on your happiness. Not because they matter more than the good 98%, but because you think they matter more.
Isn’t it strange how displeased we get thinking about politics but how little thought we give to things going well in our lives?
You know that the political situation of your country isn’t as important as your own health, your relationships, or your financial situation. But you still give it the power to ruin what’s great in your life.
The simple pleasures in life, like a walk in nature, can help. Away from the madness of the world, you’ll discover that the 2% affects your life to the extent you give it attention. So it only makes sense to think of it less.
The ultimate goal of 80/20 thinking is a more carefree, and by extension, happier and more fulfilling life. It’s unreasonable to assume that we can reach 100% perfection in our lives. The unpleasant factors that are beyond our control will fade away if we refuse to invest our energy in them.