Improve yourself by 3778% in one year?

Approximately one year ago I read something about the effects of improving 1% daily. Initially, the improvements might not be apparent, but compounded over time, the differences are huge compared to not improving at all or declining. Let’s check the math on that.

Contemplate these (rounded) numbers:
1% daily improvement for 1 year:
1.01365 = 37.7834 → 3778.34% improvement.

1% daily decline for 1 year:
0.99365 = 0.02552 → 97.45% decrease.

wolframalpha-1_01_x_and_0_99_x_from_x_0_to_x_365__plot____2016_09_07_05_44

Of course, we’re assuming the law of diminishing returns doesn’t apply. The more you improve in chess, the harder further improvement becomes. So in a sense, these numbers apply to your totality, not a single skill. Let’s be a little more conservative and use 0.1%.

0.1% daily improvement for 1 year:
1.001365 = 1.44025 → 44.025% improvement.

0.1% daily decline for 1 year:
0.999365 = 0.69406 → 30.593% decrease.

wolframalpha-1_001_x_and_0_999_x_from_x_0_to_x_365__plot____2016_09_07_05_42

I’m not entirely confident in stating the following, but it would seem like you can improve yourself by 300% in roughly 3 years if you maintain productive habits totaling a net daily improvement of 0.1%

0.1% daily improvement for 3 years and five days:
1.001(365 x 3) + 5 = 3.002515 → 300.2515% improvement.

0.1% daily decline for 3 years and five days:
0.999(365 x 3) + 5 = 0.33269 → 66.731% decrease.

wolframalpha-1_001_x_and_0_999_x_from_x_0_to_x_365_3_5__plot____2016_09_07_05_58

Not sure what to think of it, but I’m taking the safe bet on doing something productive each day. I hope you do too!

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