The 25% Rule states that everybody that comes into your life basically falls into 1 of 4 categories:
1st 25% consist of people who may like you at first but then may change their mind:
This is not necessarily a bad thing. Think of a time when you met someone and immediately hit it off. Maybe you grew up in the same town or graduated from the same school. But after talking with them for a while you found out that you have different beliefs or ways of dealing with certain things. The more you converse with this individual the more you realize that you really don’t have a lot in common. This doesn’t mean that you are a bad person or that they are better than you. It simply means that you are different and that’s ok. There is a good book with an even better title called “I’m not crazy I’m just not you.” You see, I’ve learned over the years that I don’t have to agree with everyone or have the same beliefs as my friends. I am my own person and it's ok to be me.
2nd 25% consist of people who may not like you at first but then may change their mind:
I remember one time after a workshop a young woman came up to me and said, “Beau, you know you really are not a bad guy after all.” I was thinking to myself was I ever a bad guy. Well it turned out that she had met me once before and because of my introverted personality and kind of quiet/shy demeanor she perceived me as being “stuck up.” you see at first she didn’t really like me. But after getting to know me she discovered that we had a lot in common.
3rd 25% of the people are the ones who love you unconditionally:
No matter what you do or what you say this group will always love you. In fact in some cases they will love you until you learn how to love yourself. I would image that perhaps most close family members and friends would belong in this category.
4th 25% of the people are the ones who you can never please:
It doesn’t matter how much you give them or how much time you spend tending to their needs. You will never be able to please them. These are the ones who will talk about you behind your back and give you all the reasons why you’ll never make it!
Now it turns out that no matter what YOU are doing the 25% rule still applies:
In other words, you can be rich/ poor, successful or unsuccessful, up/down, left/right, struggling with an addiction or clean for 25 years. You will always have a group of people who will love you and people who you’ll never be able to satisfy.
Now unfortunately most of us focus on the 25% who we can’t please. In fact we spend so much time and energy trying to please this group that we don’t have enough time or energy left for the people who love us unconditionally. If anything, we take out our frustrations on the 25% of the people who actually care and love us. And that is not fair. It's not fair to you and it’s not fair to them.
I want to encourage you today to make a change. I want you to make a paradigm shift here and start focusing on the people who love you the most.
Today’s Action Step:
Make a list of all the people in your life who love you unconditionally. Make a decision to spend more time and energy on this group. And if for some reason you can't think of anyone to put on your list then start with you. In fact, I’ve learned that until you love yourself and take care of yourself you will never be able to truly love and effectively be there for others. So go right now! Make your list and start focusing on the people who matter most.