How to Succeed

Here's one way to become successful. Become one percent better at something every day.

That something can be music, art, business, whatever.

Here's a chart that tells you how you will grow and become better if you become better one percent a day:

Become One Percent
Better at Something Every Day!
How Long Have
You Been Doing It?
How Much Better
Are You At It?
90 DaysTwice as Good
6 MonthsFive
Times as Good
10 MonthsTen
Times as Good
1 Year
Plus 100 Days
One Hundred
Times as Good
2 YearsOne Thousand
Times as Good
4 YearsOne Million
Times as Good

As you can see from the above chart, becoming one percent better at something every day works like compound interest. If you get one percent better each day, in 90 days, you are twice as good at it. In less than a year, you more than 10 times as good at it.

7 Reasons to
Become One Percent Better
at Something Every Day

Here are 7 reasons to become one percent better at something each and every day:

  1. It's good for your morale.

    Getting a little better at something every day is good for your morale.

    Why? Because when you get better at something, each and every day, you feel better about yourself.

    You feel good about yourself because you are accomplishing something and you are doing something that will lead to something.

  2. You won't become overwhelmed.

    If you get just a little bit better at something every day, you feel like you can do it without feeling overwhelmed.

    A little bit better each day means you don't have to be successful the first time you try something or the second time you try something.

    You are at liberty to become who you are to become one step at a time.

  3. Incremental progress is natural progress.

    It's rare in life that people suddenly become better at something overnight. Incremental progress is more typical.

    I recall something the actress Bernadette Peters once said. She said overnight success takes 14 years. That's probably not a verbatim quote, but it is as best I remember.

    It's true. Overnight success does take about 14 years.

    The illusion is that it happens much quicker than this. It's just an illusion.

    Most American Idol contestants who win and become the next American Idol have been singing their whole lives. It's not at all unusual for a winner to have started singing at age 3 or so.

    Of course, after you win American Idol, you are an overnight success. However, that overnight success is many years in the making.

  4. You can start small.

    Beginnings are humble. Why not start where you are and build?

    That's how you learned to walk. First, you learned to roll over. Next, you learned to creep. Then you learned to crawl.

    It took some time, but each day you made incremental progress and each day you become better until one day you walked.

  5. You learn patience by getting a little better at something each day.

    This may be the biggest benefit of all.

    Patience is a great spiritual quality that we all could use a little more of. By becoming a little better at something each day, you acquire the habit of being patient.

  6. You'll live longer.

    I can't prove this one but I believe it is true.

    People who take an active interest in life and are always trying to improve upon things have a better survival rates than people who don't.

    I can't prove this statistically, but I'm sure it is true. Is it likely that an apathetic person would live to be 100 years old? Probably not.

    The people I know who live long lives are fireballs, not apathetic people.

  7. You'll find it easier to make friends.

    Again, this one is hard to prove. However, it seems to me that most friendships are formed around mutual interests.

    For example, someone who is actively trying to improve their dance steps is likely to meet someone of similar interests on the dance floor.

    I'm sure it helps if you constantly strive to be a better dancer.

    Would you rather hang out with someone who is actively trying to get better or someone who doesn't care?

Take a Chance!
Get Better Each Day!

It doesn't take a genius to see that if you get better at something every day, you are likely to have something wonderful happen to you.

Why not take a chance? Why not strive to be one percent better at something every day?

What harm could it do? The only thing you risk is leaving behind a less-experienced you and a less accomplished you. Embrace the new you and let the old you stay behind you.

Leave the old you behind.

©Edward Abbott, 2009. All rights reserved. Revised December 11, 2009.

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