Formulas for Life – 3 Mathematical Equations for Better Performance in Anything

Formulas for improvement in life

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Some of the greatest pieces of advice actually come in the form of simple mathematical equations.

In this article, I'm going to show you how to...

  • Unlock your hidden potential with --> EL =.4(RL)
  • Do more by doing less with --> .8(IN)=.2(OUT)
  • Focus on the right things with --> F=.2(25G)

**To all of you math scholars cringing at the fact that these formulas aren't simplified, I promise I am leaving them this way for a reason. Trust me.**

Pythagorean Theorem

I'll explain each in detail. Pay close attention because each has the power to change your life and make you more effective in every single aspect of your life.

Yes, unlike formulas like the Pythagorean theorem, they aren't absolute. There is room for debate in these. 

However, they are all true enough to provide powerful insights.I choose to approach them as if they are absolutes. There is no harm in them being slightly overstated or understated. The principle is what matters.

Formula #1: The Rule of 40%

EL =.4(RL) 


EXPECTED Limit = Real Limit * 40%

If you google "The Rule of 40%," you'll see results about the growth of software companies. That isn't the rule in this example.

This Rule of 40% refers to mental toughness and how much of our true potential we tap into. Less than half!

This concept was first introduced after a man named Jesse Itzler watched a 265 lb navy seal absolutely annihilate competitors in a 24 hour marathon (most who weighed over 100 lb less than him). 

By the end of the race, the seal had tremendous injuries: kidney damage, dehydration and broken bones in his feet. The idea that he not only finished the marathon but won was dumbfounding.

Itzler had to learn how this man developed this Spartan-esque willpower, so he moved in with him for 31 days. The long-short of what he learned is that human beings typically use only 40% of our physical and mental potential. When we think we are done, we can really go 1.5x farther, longer etc.!

Formula #2: Pareto's Principle (The 80:20 Rule)



80% of INPUT = 20% of oUTPUT

"inPUT" = Time, Resources + Effort

" Output" = Rewards

Pareto's principle is one of my absolute favorites. The formula states 80% of results come from 20% of our efforts. If your business makes $100,000/year, about $80,000 of it could be attributed to 20% of the work you do. 

Here on the blog, about 80% of my traffic comes from 20% of my articles.

This principle also spills over into other areas that are less connected to effort. Here are some examples in my online businesses:

  • ~80% of my revenue comes from ~20% of my customers. 
  • ~80% of my revenue comes from ~20% of products.
  • ~80% of my customer support time goes to ~20% of customers who have an extra hard time understanding the products. 

I have also found that when this formula isn't 80:20, it leans more towards 85:15, 90:10 or even 95:5!

The takeaway is that most of what we do doesn't lead to results. The more time we can spend on the 20% of things that drive the most results, the better our results will be overall. Many business owners cut the other 80% of output that is leading to just 20% of the results in order to focus it all on the 20% that is driving 80%!

Formula #3 Warren Buffet's 5/25 Rule



focus = 5G

Focus = Where we spend our efforts

G = Goals

Like the two formulas before it, this one has a great story. It goes like this...

One day, legendary investor Warren Buffet approached one of his employees, Mike Flint. Flint had been his pilot for over 10 years, and Buffet wanted to help him set his career goals. So, Buffet gave Flint a simple exercise. 

  1. Write down his 25 goals
  2. Give attention to the top 5
  3. Ignore the other 20 at all costs

This approach is not common. Many people who believe they are highly productive still have massive lists of goals and things they try to focus on each day. In Buffet's opinion (which is of course very highly regarded) we need to make the hard decision to say "no" to a lot of things that aren't absolutely top priorities for our lives.

Can you think of any other formulas for personal effectiveness? Leave them in the comments.

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