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Crazy How Good Life Becomes When You Focus on Being 1% Better Each Day

by | Jan 31, 2022 | Life Hacks

Transformations are total bullsh*t.

I’ve studied many.

One that comes to mind is the story of Rich Roll. If you read his story, you discover he became an alcoholic at 31.

It ruined his life and he hit rock bottom.

His weight spiraled out of control, his career went down the shiter, and his friends stopped talking to him. Apparently, one day, he tried to walk up the stairs to his home and “buckled over in pain.”

Somehow he was able to foresee a heart attack was around the corner.

I mean, it sounds like a Superman movie. Since hearing his story I’ve listened to many podcasts where he’s described his transformation.

It didn’t happen overnight at all.

One event didn’t define his transformation either. In fact, surprise surprise, he failed to successfully go to rehab and quit alcohol multiple times.

Rich eventually figured out how to get 1% better each day. Those tiny, daily wins added up to some huge victories later on.

He competed in marathons, became an author, started a podcast with a massive audience, and, frankly, achieved superhuman goals.

But make no mistake, his focus on 1% daily wins is what got him there.

“Reality will keep teaching you humility until you finally learn”


The 1% better each day mindset doesn’t work if you have an enormous ego.

Egos tell us we can have 300% better days. Egos make us believe in fake progress. Egos make us take credit for progress someone else created.

If you’ve worked a corporate job, you’d have seen this plenty of times.

Some jerk in a pinstripe suit tries to take credit for a project they never attended a single meeting for. But it happened loosely around their department, so screw it, why not take credit for it, they think.

If only they spent their time becoming 1% better in whatever they did in their job, they’d unlock all the eventual wins.

The 1% better mindset is a tiny one.

It doesn’t appear on the cover of Success Magazine. You won’t see Instagram influencers with 1M followers and a garage full of protein shakes talking about it.

1% better is laced in humility. It’s a competition you have with yourself, quietly, each day. I think it’s beautiful.

Become better by doing less

What if the answer isn’t to do more? What if the answer is to want less? — Mark Manson

If I ever become gay, Mark Manson will be my first root. Not for his rock-hard abs, but for his perspective on hustle culture.

He says we should want less to get more. I think we must go even deeper. I want “slow hustle” to become the new trend.

It’s where you focus on daily consistency and overcoming boredom, not working 80-hour workweeks and joining Steve Jobs in an early grave from burnout. The slow burn lasts longer.

If you can last longer, you can achieve more with a 1% better strategy.

Heck, I don’t want to work every weekday for too much longer. I’m not trying to get rich. I’m trying to read and write more than I do work to pay bills. Perhaps you can relate.

The #1 reason this strategy fails

To lose patience is to lose the battle — Mahatma Gandhi

My mate Gandhi said it beautifully. A lack of patience screws with your success. The progress of 1% better is slow. It took me 5 years to get momentum from this 1% mindset.

Most people can’t last.

They want it now! now! now! so they can take a picture of success and put it on Instagram.

It takes everything you’ve got to show up every day for 5 years and be 1% better each time. When you do, though, you stack hidden progress you can’t see. That’s right.

Not all progress is measurable.

Some days I write and it feels like the impact is the same as a year ago.

Then recently I did a Zoom call with my readers and over 1000 of them turned up. The Zoom app couldn’t handle all the people. Hundreds get left in the waiting room.

I got hundreds more emails from people desperate to attend that couldn’t get in. While in the Zoom call the chat window had so many comments going through that the page scroll went faster than the speed of light.

Only a day before I felt like I was plateauing into darkness.

Then an event like that happens and I get reminded that 1% daily gains do add up when you shut up and be patient.

There is actually no point in doing anything unless you’re gonna stick with it for years — ColdEmailWizard

When you chase the 1% life, this happens…

No matter what route you choose, you’ll find pain in it. It’s not a curse. It’s life — Tochukwu E. Okoro

Getting 1% better each day isn’t a cookie-cutter path without any forks in the road. Pain will find you.

Parents will die. Sudden accidents will happen. Cancer will keep knocking at friends’ doors. Failures will happen out of nowhere. Luck will go against you.

It has happened all the way through my writing journey.

Right when I got to the Mt Everest of my field, a fighter plane would come out of nowhere and fire torpedos at my mountain. What do you do?

Suck it up.


My friend Tochukwu says because pain only helps you get better.

Being 1% better includes pain. No need to avoid it. Expect it and let it help.

The mindset 1% badasses adopt

You stay on path with your goals when you have a system. But if tragedies can temporarily derail systems you build, then there’s a mindset you need.

Program your mind to see everything in life as opportunity.

Optimism helps keep your 1% each day winning streak going. The best question is this: how can I use this to my advantage?

Or say to yourself, if I had a gun to my head and got forced to see the good in this situation, what would it be?

Do the work behind closed doors

Disappear for some time, focus on yourself, return unrecognizable — Aaron Will

That’s the worldview of us 1 percenters. We’re big on silence and quiet time.

My business partner often says to people “yeah, he’s in his bat cave. No one has seen him for months.”

That’s how I like it.

I don’t need open-plan office noise, award ceremonies, pats on the shoulder, beer and pizza Fridays, or praise from strangers in the street.

I’m just trying to live my life and escape ever doing any type of work again for money. One of the reasons I am who I am is because mental illness robbed me of a lot of happiness.

When I hit rock bottom I ditched all my old friends. I went away for a few years. Nobody saw me or heard from me. I sat at home on my computer trying to figure out my life.

Eventually, through a weird series of events, I found online writing.

That’s what happens when you say f*ck off to the loud world and live in your inner world for a while. It gives you the headspace to build a life centered around being 1% better each day.

It all boils down to this

Writer Steph Smith says she had a yoga teacher that used to say, “Congrats. The hardest part is over. You showed up.”

The yoga teacher taught her a mindset that applies to most things in life. She says worrying about a task, often, is far worse than the task itself. She finishes with “starting is the hardest part.”

I agree.

Being 1% better each day isn’t about being a self-improvement junkie, hyped up on gratitude picture quotes and green smoothies, holding a yoga mat. It’s about whether you can show up better each day and aim for 1% progress.

And if you happen to hit a hard day and get better by 0.5% instead, you show up the next day and try again.

My life has become crazy good since I learned the 1% better mindset. Try it for yourself. Write 1% better each day on your wall at home and in your office to remind you.

1% better each day leads to real transformation, slowly.

Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

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