Before we go any further, there is something that you have to understand. The 1% is not an exact mathematical construct. It’s an idea. You might not be the sharpest with numbers, but you get the idea of how rare something is if it only occurs in 1% of the population.

This small segment isn’t impressive because it’s a small segment—hell, a segment of population are serial killers, pedophiles or homeless. The small segment is impressive because of how disproportionately accomplished and composed they are.

The 1% I speak of are the people that society looks up to for the right reasons. They are the people paragons. They don’t specifically set out to be an example, but they inspire others to be their best. It’s not just a matter of what they do, but how they do it. Process and outcome are equally important to people in the 1%.

I don’t consider myself in the 1%, but I think I am closer this year than I was last year. This is the power of intent. Because I’m trying to be better and make my environment a reflection of my mind, as I improve those around me improve. This is a significant part of being in the 1%. Think of the 1% as a theoretical limit that you are always trying to approach in your life. Here are 10 habits that will help you reach this theoretical destination in reality.

An unwavering commitment to improvement. The Japanese call this idea Kaizen. It’s continuous improvement that centers around one key idea: big changes come from many small changes over time. On the contrary, the 99% believe in big wins and luck.

Kaizen, the way of the 1%, focuses on small wins and circumstance. A small win every day eventually looks like a big win. A cumulative gradual change to circumstance makes one appear to be lucky in their timing.

How to average person thinks success happens.

There’s nothing that can’t be altered by making small gradual improvements each day. Small changes in diet each day will result in large changes in health and appearance. The same thing can happen with changes in finance and relationships. The 1% focuses on improving each day.

An overwhelming sense of appreciation and gratitude. Gratitude is the most powerful emotion that you have because it can change your thinking and mood instantaneously. Gratitude is so powerful it can make you believe that everything is alright when it really isn’t.

This is ok, because your reality is nothing more than your perception. The 1% understands that they can see the world as they want, so they abuse the power of gratitude to see each day as something amazing.

Gratitude is nothing more than seeing the world through the lens of relativity. It’s the ability to look at every situation and think either “This could be worse” or “I am incredibly fortunate”. Many times, the power of gratitude makes you have both reactions.

When you learn to habitually see things this way, you’ll feel sorry for the other 99% of the population that always sees the bad in a situation. When you can look at any situation and see how fortunate you are to have experienced it, then you’re thinking like the 1%.

People are the most important thing.  Imagine achieving your biggest dream. Then imagine having no one to share it with. Even worse, imagine that no one is happy for you and everyone curses you for it.

Only the fool would still be excited about accomplishing it. This is because people are the most important thing in life. No matter how digital or automatic the world becomes, it’s still driven and operated by human beings.

This means that your ability to interact with other people is key to your success. There is no penalty for being likable. There is no bad that comes from making a person feel good. Nothing evil will befall you if you help a person when you have the power to. This goes for loved ones and strangers. The 1% understands that their greatest source of happiness are their interactions with other people. The 99% thinks its money or things.

Live with a purpose. Your purpose in life doesn’t need to be something extravagant. It doesn’t require you live a life of sacrifice and suffering. Your purpose in life doesn’t need to be original or profound. Your purpose doesn’t require permanent commitment for the rest of your life. All that is required is that decisions in your life are based on that purpose.

A purpose is a grand vision. The 99% think only in terms of goals and accomplishments. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. A grand vision is not necessarily concerned with the outcome or the process, but rather the reasoning that drives the action.

Getting one million dollars is an outcome. There are many processes for acquiring it. But is your purpose to lead a life of freedom, to be charitable, to be seen as successful, etc? The purpose transcends the goal and gets you thinking about what you really want. Maybe achieving your goal will get you there. Maybe there are ways more aligned with your purpose that would ultimately make you happier.

Understanding the order of priorities. 99% of people think that money is the most important thing. How they prioritize everything else after that is a mix, but it can lead to some interesting results. Before we discuss those, we first need the 4 priorities of life. They are money, time, energy and reputation. These 4 things are responsible for all of the opportunities you get with other people.

The 99% always put money first. What they put last reveals more about their character than what they put first. Unscrupulous individuals will put reputation last. The lazy put energy last. The workaholic puts time last. The 1 percenter understands that the more difficult something is to replenish, the more important it is and the higher up the priority ladder it should be.

Therefore, the priorities of the 1% are as follows: time > reputation > energy > money. You can always make more money. You only have a finite amount of time to live. There are billionaires but no immortals. When you treat time with the proper respect, you will be closer to living the life of the 1 percent.

Strategic view. The 99% think in terms of the immediate. The 1% ALWAYS take the long view unless they are pressed by an emergency. The thing about emergencies is that the 1% are almost never phased by them because they’ve spent the time taking the long view of life. The long view of life is simply the ability to look beyond immediate concerns and think about the long term.

When you think about it, the only time the long term shouldn’t be a consideration is when you are on your death bed. For some reason, most people routinely neglect the long term when they make decisions. It’s one thing to be wrong about the future; that happens to us all. It’s another problem entirely to never consider it when making plans.

This lack of foresight is from an inability to endure the suffering of delayed gratification. By sidestepping this suffering, the irony is that you end up suffering more. The 99% don’t understand that taking the easy now results in a hard way later.

Understanding of human nature. The 1% understands that most people are in the 99%. The 99% believes that most people—themselves included—are in the 1%. Put another way, the 1 percent understands that most people are regular while regular people think that they are the exception.

This creates some interesting problems for the 99 percent. They expect certain things out of people but are bitterly disappointed when they are confronted with reality. The 1 percent aims to bring out the best in people, but they are not shocked or bitter when people don’t conform to their expectations.

The 1% take people as they are, loving them as they are, only being critical of themselves but easy on everyone else. The 99% are hypocritical and expect everyone to behave a certain way, are angered when they don’t, and are hard on others while making concessions for themselves.

Well defined standards. Most people either have no standards or they don’t enforce them. This goes for everything, from what they put in their bodies to the type of people they spend their time around. Without standards, a person does what is easiest instead of what is best. The path of least resistance defines the life of the 99% in every way. Their bodies are not toned, their minds are not sharp, and their relationships aren’t full of love.

The 1% understands that the best view comes after the hardest climb. They embrace the most challenging lifestyle and paths they can for the way it changes them. The standards they have for how they eat, how they live and how they interact with the world are all shaped in the spirit of self-discipline. The body of a 1 percenter reflects discipline, as does their mind and heart.

These standards reflect a quality of life that is not easily attainable. Many people want to coast through life, happy to survive. The 1% want to work through life, doing the best job they can, because it’s the standard they’ve set for themselves. 

The 1% takes nothing personal. Most people are so self-centered that they believe everything in the universe is somehow connected to them. There are some people that even believe that they personally are blessed by God when good things happen to them.

The 1% never take any affront personally. Even if the offense they experience is motivated by a problem someone personally has with them, they refuse to get themselves personally involved. The moment a person becomes personally involved in a problem, they cannot think clearly about the best way to solve it. The 99 percent always makes problems personal.

The 1 percent understands that an unfortunate side effect of living in the universe is that things will happen to you simply because you exist. The universe is completely impersonal in how it interacts with you.

People are merely an agent of the universe. Sometimes you meet good people and sometimes you meet bad people. By not taking it personally, you can always make the best decisions and learn from your interactions with them.

The 1% gives more than it takes. There is a simple formula for computing the worth of something in any situation. If you give more than you take, you’re an asset. If you take more than given, you’re a liability. Assets are valuable. Liabilities are dangerous. The 1% understands that life is always easier if you are valuable. They understand the way to become valuable to is to give more to the world than they take from it.

The 99% are always out to get what they can from the world. They always consume and never produce. You see this in their choice of entertainment and lifestyle. It’s all driven by indulgence rather than creation. The mere act of trying to put more into the world than you take from it means that you will create things that benefit people.

By helping people, you will always be in a position to receive help and compensation. That compensation may be in the form of time, energy, money or reputation. 1% of people never worry about how they will get anything they need while 99% people are in a constant scarcity mindset.