How to Reclaim Your Life (10% at a time)

You didn’t sleep. You’ve been on the move. You’ve given so much to your work, family, friends, and daily routines. You wake up each morning, check your browsers, check your email, your facebook feed. You do your due diligence. Comment. Like. You keep up to date on current affairs. Forty in your inbox. Six new invitations.

You spend time responding, money consuming, energy working, brain power thinking. You recoup it on the weekends, or so you try. Socializing, sleeping in, dancing with stars and staring out windows.

Another year goes by. Nothing has changed.

So you invest in a therapist to find out why. Pay cash to your accountant to see where your money’s gone. You spend year after year re-harvesting your losses, and the net-result is that you’re utterly spent.

It’s time for some payback.

Payback Principle #1) “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – Stephen Covey

If you don’t prioritize your life, somebody else will – Greg McKeown 

This first step is so crucial yet so simple that we miss it! Decide and discern where you’re resources go. Period.

*if you don’t know what the main thing is, here are three books that will help you find out: 

  1. Essentialism
  2. Man’s Search for Meaning
  3. What Really Matters

Payback Principle #2) “10% of all you receive is yours to keep” – George S. Clason

He who’s aim is to fill the room, does so at the cost of emptying himself

In 1926, a collection of short financial parables written by George S. Clason were bound to form the classic book, The Richest Man in Babylon . It’s 6 principles of wealth, cut through all clutter and still stand the test of time. The very first principle, and arguably most important among them, is that a part of what you earn (specifically 10%) is yours to keep. That means for every $10 dollars that comes in, $1 dollar is put away (and later applied toward generating additional value) never to be squandered on any expenses, no matter how seemingly necessary. Current proponents of wealth generation such as Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to Be Richthrough automation and updated tools, still apply this same basic principle of trapping and saving no less than 10% in a pot that can grow and ultimately work for you:

automated savings account

What most interests me, is what happens if we apply this same trusted 10% financial law across the board to all aspects of life. What would that feel like? What would it look like? 

  • Say you’re in the habit of rushing during the first hour of the day. You rush to get ready, rush to work and arrive already depleted. What if you made a firm commitment to yourself that the first 6 minutes of that hour were yours and yours alone? You use that time in any way you like be it to meditate, sip tea, exercise, read or write. Worried you’ll be late? Parkinson’s law says you’ll still arrive on time. Even if you don’t, might it be worth it?

Applying the 10% law to money and time are only the beginning. How about the way you expend your energy throughout the day? Try this:

  • move 10% slower
  • speak 10% lower
  • perform the same tasks with 10% less effort, resistance and intensity

See what happens.

Wanna increase oxygen utilization and feel more energy instantly?

  • breathe 10% deeper
  • exhale 10% slower
  • speak 10% softer

We sometimes think that we need to be loud in order to be heard. In actuality, researchers in the field of positive psychology and confidence building found that people take us more seriously and are more likely to trust and value what we have to say when we speak in a lower, slower, and more steady tone.

I recently went to see a friend play live with his heavy-metal band in Philly. The lead singer had surgery on his vocal chords three months prior. I overheard him talking about his performance after the show to a friend. He said that his vocal coach specifically instructed him to sing using 10% less volume, and pass 10% less air through his vocal chords to alleviate the strain and allow his throat to heal.

He sounded freaking awesome.

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If you like this post please share and check out my related post on How to Find Calm in Chaos and How to Catch the Ultimate Ride: A lesson in discernment 



  1. Riz says:

    Thanks for coming to the show dude. Next time I’ll have you come up and we can play some Fade to Black like the ancient days.

    This reminds me of a book I heard about called “The Slight Edge.” A lot of people talk about it, and the 10% principle seems to be a form of that. Do what noone else is willing to do, every day.

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