The Power of Variability and the 90/10 Rule: Keys to Mastery and Finding the Perfect Place to Live

Tara H

Tara H

Oct 03, 20234 min read


The Power of Variability and the 90/10 Rule: Keys to Mastery and Finding the Perfect Place to Live


In our pursuit of mastery and happiness, we often come across various theories and rules that claim to hold the key to success and contentment. Two such concepts, the importance of variability in mastering a skill and the 90/10 Rule for deciding where to live, offer intriguing insights into how we can navigate these aspects of our lives. While they may seem unrelated at first glance, upon closer examination, we discover that they share a common thread - the need to prioritize and focus on the factors that truly matter. In this article, we will explore the significance of variability in mastery and delve into the 90/10 Rule, uncovering valuable lessons along the way.

The Power of Variability in Mastery:

Scott H Young challenges the notion that repetition is the sole path to mastery, citing Bruce Lee's famous quote, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." While repetition undeniably plays a crucial role in perfecting certain skills, Young argues that variability is equally essential. In the context of martial arts, repetition may indeed be necessary for achieving perfection in specific movements, such as sword cuts. However, for overall mastery, incorporating variety is vital.

Young's perspective highlights the importance of adaptability and the ability to apply skills in various contexts. By exposing ourselves to different scenarios, we develop a broader understanding of how our skills can be utilized. This adaptability not only enhances our proficiency but also prepares us to tackle real-world challenges that may require us to think on our feet and adapt quickly.

The 90/10 Rule: Factors that Shape Our Lives:

Shifting our focus to the realm of decision-making, the 90/10 Rule provides valuable guidance on choosing where to live. According to this rule, 90% of our lives are influenced by a select few factors, while the remaining 10% comprises minor considerations. This principle encourages us to prioritize the factors that have the most significant impact on our overall satisfaction, even if they may not be immediately apparent.

While the 90/10 Rule emphasizes the importance of considering factors that affect the majority of our lives, it also acknowledges that the significance of these factors is not always proportional to their quantifiable impact. This recognition prompts us to dig deeper and identify the factors that truly contribute to our well-being, rather than simply relying on surface-level metrics.

Finding Common Ground:

Examining these two concepts, we can identify a shared emphasis on prioritization and discernment. In both mastery and choosing where to live, it is crucial to identify the factors that have the most significant impact on our happiness and success. By focusing on these key elements, we can allocate our time, energy, and resources more effectively, optimizing our chances of reaching our goals.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace variability in your quest for mastery: While repetition is essential for honing specific skills, do not neglect the power of variability. Seek opportunities to apply your skills in diverse contexts and challenge yourself to adapt to new situations. This flexibility will not only enhance your proficiency but also equip you with the ability to navigate unforeseen circumstances.
  • 2. Identify the factors that truly matter in your decision-making: When faced with significant choices, such as where to live, take the time to reflect on the factors that will have the most substantial impact on your overall satisfaction. Look beyond surface-level metrics and consider the aspects of your life that truly contribute to your happiness and well-being. By focusing on these core elements, you can make more informed decisions that align with your values and priorities.
  • 3. Continually reassess and adjust your priorities: As you progress on your journey towards mastery or navigate through different stages of life, it is essential to regularly reassess your priorities. What may have been crucial at one point may evolve or change altogether. By remaining open to reevaluating your goals and values, you can ensure that you stay aligned with what truly matters to you.


The concepts of variability in mastery and the 90/10 Rule for decision-making offer valuable insights into optimizing our pursuit of success and contentment. By embracing variability in our learning processes and identifying the factors that truly shape our lives, we can make more informed choices and allocate our resources effectively. Remember, mastery and finding the perfect place to live are not one-size-fits-all endeavors. By prioritizing what truly matters to us and remaining adaptable, we can navigate these aspects of our lives with greater clarity and purpose.

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