It is often quoted that Albert Einstein once said, “the most powerful force in the universe is compound interest.”
And while you may be a little skeptical that the father of modern physics really thinks that compound interest is the most powerful force (keep in mind his findings lead to the invention of the atomic bomb), Einstein would be right to conclude the compound effort over time can have drastic results.
It’s through compound effort that you can grow your investment accounts to hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars over a lifetime. It’s also the same way that your $300,000 home ends up costing $547,200 (30-year mortgage at 4.5%).
More Than Just Finance
But it’s not just money that has compounding effects. There are many areas in our life where the actions we take can facilitate a compound effort over a larger period of time.
Here are just a few.
Compound Optimism – Optimism is a mindset that will grow over time. As you begin to create a positive worldview, you’ll be increasingly rewarded with finding more opportunity and better outcomes.
Compound Knowledge – The more you seek to further your education, the more knowledge you will attain. Learning new systems and ways of thinking can open the door for whole new perspectives on life.
Compound Health – Eating better, following a workout routine, and taking care of your emotions, can all lead to compounding effects on your overall health. The daily changes don’t seem big, but over years you can drastically improve your health.
Compound Relationships – Putting effort into creating new relationships, as well as foster existing relationships, can have a compound effect over time. Not only will you gain more meaningful relationships, but you’ll also gain a better understanding of people.
Compound Career/Purpose – Your job, career, “purpose”, or whatever you want to call it in life is NOT fixed. You should always be evolving to putting effort into growing what you do in life. The more you build your career, the more impact you can have.
How To Use Compound Effort
The key to compound effort is building a positive habit.
When you identify an area in your life that you want to grow, you can work backwards and think about what daily/weekly/monthly habits you can build to help you get there. Focusing on the short term habits allows you to create small wins early on, and large wins long term.
I use the term “compound” loosely, as not every activity will have a fixed rate of return over time. But the point still is valid that MANY aspects of our lives can be improved by building success upon success.
If you want to be a talented artist, run a half marathon, or a leader in your company, you are going to need to continually invest effort over a period of time. Building on success. Learning from failure.