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4 Principles to help you have it M.A.D.E

Jun 24, 2021

You've probably heard of the 80-20 rule. There are a fair amount of 80-20 rules out there. The Pareto principle 80-20 rule states you should recognize that 80% of our results are produced by 20% of our efforts. This isn't hard and set, but this principle (used widely in the corporate business and production world) is to know where to put your time, effort, energy, and resources into getting the best or most efficient result. This framework for imbalanced outputs and inputs is widely used and recognized as the universal 80-20 rule. However, that is another blog for another day. David Goggins's 80-20 principle says we are happy running at 20% of our potential. He expands this further by saying we are comfortable in the 20%, that 20% likes comfortable and easy. It's the 20% of our brain that wants to hang out with people that tell us "we're good," "why try that when you're crushing it here," or "don't do that… you'll fail." The 20% of our brain moves away from a challenge and struggle or sabotages us by taking the easy path (it's raining out…we can run tomorrow). In Goggin's 80-20 principle, our growth happens in the 80% of struggle and "crawling through the sh*t and muck and darkness to get to the light." This is another 80-20 principle that we'll discuss down the road as well.

Today, however, we're going to talk about Stephen Covey's 80-20 rule (which he took from Pareto in a way), which states 20% of what happens to us is out of our control, and the other 80% is in our control. The example he uses is getting cut off in traffic. That is something we can't control…the 20%. What happens next is the 80% that matters (the result). We could road rage, chase them down, and run them off the road. We could curse and let it ruin our day. Or, we could try and have some sympathy and perspective. Maybe they were on the way to the hospital because she was in labor, perhaps they got news of one of their kids in a car accident, maybe they were having a horrible day and were lost in thought. Either way, we could breathe, pray for them, wish them well or hope they get to where they are safely without hurting anyone. Those subsequent actions likely determine 80% of the rest of the day, how we interact with others, how we treat our staff and our patients, and how we respond to more issues bigger than this one. How can we train or remind ourselves to control this 80% output that is so important? I use this as my easy way to help keep myself grounded in the "what I can control" part of this rule.

Controlling the 80% or what we can control is based on four main things that you can incorporate immediately. Controlling what you can is made up of Mindset, Attitude, Discipline, and Effort (M.A.D.E.).


Carol Dweck has done the most research and writing on the concept of mindset. She talks about the difference between a fixed and growth mindset. A fixed mindset avoids challenges, tries to look smart, takes the easy path, ignores feedback, and is fixed in its desire to increase skill and abilities. She says a growth mindset uses failure as a learning tool, embraces challenges, accepts criticisms, desires to learn, and is constantly trying to increase skill and ability. I think we all pride ourselves on having a growth mindset, but it's something that we have to work at. A growth mindset does not come naturally. It has to be practiced and fostered by the people that we are surrounded with. We feel the Motion Palpation Institute group thrives in the growth mindset atmosphere. We are constantly learning, constantly evolving, and continuously challenging ourselves and each other.


Being able to control your attitude is crucial. As discussed in the example above, we could easily let something small ruin our day, affect our interactions with those around us and that we serve, and put us in an overall bad mood. It could affect everything from our personal relationships to our business decisions and how we treat and help our patients. Being able to control your attitude is not only crucial, but also a practice. Sometimes, just recognizing the thought and watching the thought become the watcher, as Eckhart Tolle would say, can help us realize when these sabotaging thoughts might happen. There is a 5-second rule that seems to be universal amongst most personal growth experts. The five-second rule states that you have about 5 seconds before your brain will sabotage you into doing something that you know you shouldn't do or keep you from doing something you need to act on. For example, if you have trouble getting out of bed and hitting the snooze button, if you count to 5 and get up, your likelihood of repeating that is much higher. If you have a habit that you want to break and you're about to break it, you have 5 seconds to recognize the thought and change it. Controlling our attitude is crucial, and it is a practice.


Of these four principles, this may be the most important. Discipline allows you to do the things you need to do even when you don't feel like you want to do them. Discipline is what gets you out of bed in the morning and gets you to the gym. Discipline is what keeps you from eating that food or drinking that drink that you know you shouldn't. Discipline is maybe the toughest of the four but the one that will bring you the most peace and self-respect. Discipline is also an action and a practice. If you want to learn more about this principle, I would advise you to listen to anything Jocko Willink says on discipline.


You can always control your effort. You might not be the most talented, gifted, or most intelligent person in the room, but you can be the hardest working person in the room. When I coach, I always look for the kids who run from drill to drill versus those who walk or sit in between drills. That kid probably doesn't consciously think about effort, but he knows what he can control. He or she might not be able to jump the highest, run the fastest, or lift the most weights, but he can control how hard he or she works when in that room, on the court, or on the field. You can constantly work on your skills, clinical decision-making, marketing efforts, and how you approach and build your practice through mindset and attitude.

These four principles that I've made into an acronym are all things we can control regardless of race, creed, color, God-given talent, intelligence, and lot in life.

We at MPI see these principles practiced with great success, and we hope the implementation of these will also help you.


Corey Campbell, D.C. – MPI Board and V.P.

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