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An excerpt from The 100/0 Principle by Al Ritter

My mom used to say, “If you want to change someone, change yourself first.” What my mom was saying was consistent with The 100/0 Principle. Most of us, however, are more familiar with a quite different notion…that a good relationship is based on a 50/50 proposition. I’ll do my 50%, you agree to do your 50%, and we’ll have a great relationship. The problem, of course, is that when something breaks down in the relationship, each person tends to blame the other—to point the finger as if it were the other person’s fault.

A few years ago, a philosopher came up with a new relationship theory: the 100/100 proposition. It goes like this:

“I’ll take 100% responsibility, you do the same and we can’t miss.”

This looked good at first; however, in practice it had the same shortcoming as the 50/50 proposition, namely the blame game. The 100/100 idea has another inherent flaw:

Each person has high, even unrealistic expectations of the other. After all, each person expects the other to take full responsibility.

Roadblocks to 100/0

Jack Canfield, the co-author of the Chicken Soup series of books, has a favorite quote, “If we’re not a little uncomfortable every day, we’re not growing. All the good stuff is outside our comfort zone.”

The roadblocks to effectively implementing The 100/0 Principle are captured in that quote. When we allow our automatic, knee-jerk tendencies to govern our relationships with others, we almost surely stay inside our comfort zone, and avoid the good stuff—the learning, the growth, the unprecedented results available to us.

Most often, the only roadblock to 100/0 is…

Your willingness to suspend judgment and take full responsibility for the relationship.

When you do this authentically, most of the time truly great things will happen.