"The 1 Percent Rule and the Difference Between Open-Minded and Closed-Minded People: Unveiling the Path to Success"



Aug 14, 2023 β€’ 4 min read


"The 1 Percent Rule and the Difference Between Open-Minded and Closed-Minded People: Unveiling the Path to Success"

Have you ever noticed that a small number of things or individuals seem to account for the majority of the results? This phenomenon, known as the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 Rule, was first observed by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. He noticed that only a tiny number of pea pods in his garden produced the majority of the peas. This unequal distribution was not limited to his garden alone. Pareto discovered that approximately 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by just 20 percent of the people. This concept of a minority holding a majority of the resources can be found in various areas of life, from real estate to income inequality to tech startups.

But why does this happen? How do these small advantages lead to significant rewards? It all comes down to what scientists call "accumulative advantage." Just like the winning plant in Pareto's garden had a better ability to spread seeds and reproduce, individuals or organizations with even a slight advantage over their alternatives have a better chance of accumulating more rewards over time. This effect, often referred to as the Winner-Take-All Effect, occurs in situations where relative comparison determines success. Being slightly better than the competition doesn't result in slightly more rewards; it leads to the entire reward. The margin between good and great is narrower than it seems, and each additional contest compounds the advantage.

In fact, this idea is so powerful that it has been named The Matthew Effect, referencing a passage in The Bible. According to the passage, those who already have will receive even more, while those who have nothing will lose what little they have. The people and organizations that can consistently maintain a slight edge are the ones who accumulate disproportionate rewards over time. This concept is known as The 1 Percent Rule, which states that the majority of rewards in any given field will accumulate to those who maintain a 1 percent advantage over their alternatives. It's not just about small differences accumulating; it's about those who are 1 percent better ruling their respective fields and industries.

Now, let's shift our focus to the difference between open-minded and closed-minded people. Successful individuals tend to approach life with an open mindset, being eager to learn and willing to accept when they may be wrong. However, it's important to note that closed-minded people would never consider themselves closed-minded. They often mimic the behavior of open-minded individuals without truly embodying the characteristics.

The ability to change your mind is a superpower. Your progress and growth in life depend on how willing you are to consider new ideas, even if they go against your instincts. Closed-minded individuals tend to avoid having their ideas challenged. They are more focused on proving themselves right rather than seeking the best outcome. On the other hand, open-minded people embrace disagreement and strive to understand why others may hold different views. They genuinely believe they could be wrong and are curious about exploring other perspectives.

Closed-minded people are more likely to make statements rather than ask questions. They prioritize being understood over understanding others. In contrast, open-minded individuals ask genuine questions, as they know there is always a possibility that they might be wrong. They can hold conflicting concepts in their minds simultaneously and assess their relative merits. Open-minded people approach everything with a deep-seated fear of being wrong, while closed-minded people lack humility.

To ensure that you are being influenced by the right group of people, it's crucial to cultivate an open mindset. Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Embrace disagreement: Instead of avoiding it or trying to convince others of your viewpoint, seek to understand why others hold different opinions. Approach disagreements as opportunities for growth and learning.
  • 2. Challenge your own beliefs: Actively question your own ideas and opinions. Be open to the possibility that you might be wrong and consider alternative perspectives. This will help you avoid falling into the trap of closed-mindedness.
  • 3. Foster humility: Recognize that you don't have all the answers. Approach every situation with a sense of curiosity and a willingness to learn from others. Cultivate humility to keep your mind open and receptive to new ideas.

In conclusion, the 1 Percent Rule and the difference between open-minded and closed-minded individuals provide valuable insights into achieving success. By maintaining a slight advantage and accumulating disproportionate rewards, you can become a leader in your field. Similarly, by embracing an open mindset, being willing to learn, and challenging your own beliefs, you can unlock the superpower of changing your mind and continually grow and progress in life. Remember, it's not about spending time considering bad ideas but rather about being open to new possibilities and perspectives.


  1. "The 1 Percent Rule: Why a Few People Get Most of the Rewards", https://jamesclear.com/the-1-percent-rule (Glasp)
  2. "The Difference Between Open-Minded and Closed-Minded People - Farnam Street", https://fs.blog/open-closed-minded/ (Glasp)

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