The 1% difference

Rishabh Aggarwal
2 min readApr 3, 2021


Exam sheet not picked up from author’s archives

My therapist tells me that one’s childhood is a hidden treasure. It makes one who they are today. It is important to remain in touch with it, to become prosperous.

You can really understand who you are Rishabh! — Rishabh’s therapist

*eye-rolling ensues

Of course, she must be biased as my childhood is also a source of her recurring revenues, so she better not let this one slip away.

Speaking of my childhood/teenage years though, my Maths teacher used to say there is a 100% effort difference between a 99% and 100% in an exam. It was a pretty profound learning for me then, but I was happy losing that 1% in exchange for few hours of playing the latest FIFA game on my PS console with friends. It looked to be a pretty decent trade-off.

But what I now feel disgusted about, is that my brilliantly philosophical Maths teacher never told me that this wretched 1% compounds! 1% compounded monthly for 20 years implies a 10x difference. Let that sink in!

So, essentially there are 2 factors at play here-

a) The person needs to be 1% better over everyone else and their previous self

b) The person should do this consistently

Have you ever seen witnessed your batchmates go on to do significantly better/worse than you, in spite of you folks being “close rivals”?

Breaking News: It was the 1% compounding difference

Did you have a friend who always scored higher, but now you are way better placed than them? (or the opposite)

Breaking News: It was the consistency

Beware of this 1% difference, because one day this will snowball into 10x and an outsider might owe this to someone’s luck or an unforeseen circumstance.

1% difference matters, not in your exam sheet but definitely in your life.

I hope this small string of incoherent words is able to motivate you into working towards your 1% :)