Disability Advice and the 95 Percent/5 Percent Rule

The Power of Focus – 95% on what you want, 5% on what you don’t

Happy New Year! For my first BraunAbility blog in 2010, I thought I’d share some food for thought. Here’s an interesting fact from the world of racing. When new drivers learn how to race, one of the first things they are taught is what to focus on when they go into a spin. The natural tendency is to focus on the wall they’re trying to avoid. If they do that, they usually end up hitting the wall. Instead, they’re taught to focus on where they want to go. This way they have a better chance of avoiding the wall and successfully coming out of the spin.
This example points out the incredible power of focus in our lives. Where we place our focus, especially as we begin a new year, our minds and emotions will follow. One of the quickest ways to strengthen your focus muscle is to practice “The 95 Percent/5 Percent Rule” – focus 95% on what you want to happen and no more than 5% of the time on what you don’t want to happen.
Let’s take a closer look at this notion:
95% Facing Your Fear/5% Fear. Did you know we all have fear? Even people who appear to be fearless all fear something. The trick is not to be free of all fear, but to work at becoming strong and skilled enough to face and conquer your fears.
95% Solution/5% Problem. Often it’s easy to get caught in the endless definition and redefinition of a problem. “What’s the problem?” is the wrong question. A better question is: “How many new and different solutions can we create?”
95% Learning/5% Mistakes. I once heard a wonderful story about a new employee of a large corporation who made a $10,000 mistake in his first week on the job. Upon being called into the CEO’s office at the end of the day, he told his boss he realized he will be fired and that he is sorry for the mistake. The CEO replied, “Fire you? No way, I just spent $10,000 training you!” I bet he became a very valuable employee!
95% Healing/5% Blame. Getting stuck in blame is no good. Focusing on healing allows you to move on with your life.
95% Resolution/5% Conflict. Conflict, especially in families, does not always have to be a win-lose situation. In any conflict, each side has needs. The question is what kind of solution can be found that meets as many of each person’s needs as possible.
95% Enjoy What You Do/5% Do what you need to do. “I have to”, “I’ve got to”, “I wish I didn’t have to do it” are all phrases that focus on having to do things we don’t want to do. Better words to shift your focus would be: “How can I get all this done and enjoy it?”
Finally, and most important: 95% On Applying This/5% On Reading It.
When you drive your car, or in my case my BraunAbility Entervan, follow your nose. When you live, your life follows your focus. What’s your focus?? Happy New Year!


Trisston Wright Burrows lives in Alabama with her husband, Brian, and regularly speaks and writes about living with a disability.  You can learn more about Trisston on her website: www.trisstonwrightburrows.com.