The secret to happiness is improving yourself by 1% every day

Rafay Hiraj
5 min readJan 31, 2022


This is how I would recommend doing it

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Every day we must try and be better than the last.

Every new day, we have an opportunity to improve ourselves even further and become better versions of ourselves.

When you focus on yourself and have a goal thereby, it is easy to stay focused and not get sidetracked somewhere else- typically a place that has nothing for you.

So the question is, how do you improve yourself by 1% every day?

Know your weaknesses

Everyone is imperfect, there is no shame in admitting that. If we were perfect life would be boring.

People who are closest to you, tend to know a lot about you.

Sometimes it is a good idea to ask them if there are willing to help.

The reason is, they can help you without any kind of bias. When we think to ourselves we may get biased and endanger the primary reason for the question.

Sometimes, we ourselves know what we are not good at, what we should improve, but we stay away from it. Everyone has had that feeling.

When we finally listen to that voice, we start making things happen for ourselves.

It is easy and normal to think of these weaknesses as liabilities, but they don’t have to be. You can make them your strength with the focus you need to apply.

When you improve what you are bad at, you grow, you mature. Moreover, you become more humble than before. This is because you see and mark the many imperfections you have in you.

The most successful people in the world have imperfections, there is no hiding from that. It is what makes us human.

Being perfect is what a newborn is because he has nothing to do, he is immature. As you grow you form ideologies and thinking patterns that are bound to be wrong. Let them be wrong, just focus on constant improvement.

Lastly, you stop judging other people when you see yourself having so many flaws. You cut them some slack and shut the voice up in your head that tells you everyone is an ass.

You also become more open to criticism, which is a fine trait. You can understand where someone is coming from when they criticize you. You listen and try to make sense of it rather than discarding it.

Fix the problem you have wanted to fix

Every one of us has that ONE specific problem that has been lingering on for a while now. Let’s get to that and amend it.

Procrastination is one of the most common issues in today’s world. There is no doubt about that.

While procrastination has its benefits (Yeah, it does), it has some obvious flaws.

When you neglect even the smallest things, you start to become more and more irresponsible. It starts to creep into every area of your life. It is unconscious, that is the dangerous part about it.

A common example of neglect is when you have an idea. When a certain idea comes, you are ecstatic, maybe over the moon. However, when you ignore it for some days, it slowly starts to fade away until it is totally gone.

Act when the emotion is high- as soon as it comes to you. When you take action to go with the emotion, it persists in you. When there is a consistent effort, it perseveres. That is what you want to achieve.

Emotion is very important. Keeping the positive emotion high determines a winner. Enthusiasm.

Success is the ability to go from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm Winston Churchill

Be aware of what causes inaction/off days

We all have off days, there is no hiding from that. But there is always a reason why. Finding that reason is important.

But here’s the thing, sometimes you need a rest. It is necessary sometimes.

Not getting enough sleep for days on end can do a lot worse for you, stressing out a lot is another one. These are extreme cases and relaxing can be very essential sometimes.

Off days give you a kind of rest. But if they make you irritable and angry, what is the point.

I have learned to take off days to the chest. Some days I just decided to wake up late and take a break. When I have these days, I no longer beat myself over them. I accept them and try to get as much work done as possible.

This works for me, but I have never recommended it to other people. The reason is when I don’t do enough in a day, I end up getting stressed. For me, this happens to everyone, in those cases, I don’t recommend this.

Focus on small improvements and make them large slowly

Starting ridiculously small is ok. If you want to start reading as a habit, just try to go 5 minutes a day. Make that a habit.

The problem with making habits is people try to go all-in from the start. Few people manage that. Don’t be demotivated by the lack of results, keep improving your effort and the results are bound to come.

When you start small there is always an element of ease. Let that play in your favor.

When you take up something long and challenging, your brain does its best to keep you from it. This works because of the many barriers we make for ourselves.

When you focus on improving every day, the 5 minutes grow themselves.

It isn’t about how much you do at the start. 90% of the problem is not starting at all.

Controlling that could go a long way.

Embed a new discipline

Habits form disciplines after a specific period of time. That period of time is unnecessary. It can vary but it can form.

This is where highly successful people operate. But it is very much attainable. Disciplines form out of focus. When you are focused, things outside that focus don’t mean much to you. That is how it should be.

Consistency is thus the key to success. Because consistency builds focus, and focus makes success inevitable above anything else.


Focusing on improving every day is not for an impatient person. It is a journey that never ends but always leaves you further than you were before.

If you focus too much on the results, you are already setting yourself up for unhappiness. Yes, the effort that doesn’t produce results is not a smart effort. But if you get dissatisfied with the lack of results in 2 days, you are already starting at a losing state.

This philosophy and ideology are not going to make you the next Carnegie, or the next Elon Musk, but it is a step in the right direction. A step I would encourage anyone to take.

“Fall in love with the process…,” as Gary Vee says, “and your life will be so much better.”



Rafay Hiraj

Self Improvement and Life Lessons