Assume I gave your friend $3 million, and I asked you to save a penny for a month, with it slowly doubling each day. Which would you pick?
If you’ve come across this gambit before, you know picking the penny is the right option. Yet, why is it, in reality, a decision like this would be so hard to make? On day ten, you have $5.12 while your friend is still in the millions. Day 20, you’re still stuck with $5,243.
The real magic happens on day 29. You have 3million dollars, and your friend may have spent half his cash. Day 30, you have $10,737,414.24
This is the magic of the compound effect.
People don’t achieve who they are overnight, but because of a series of choices that they have made.
We humans often make bad choices because we love anything that provides us with instant gratification. If you immediately developed lung cancer, the moment you picked up that cigarette, I’m sure you wouldn’t think twice about stopping smoking for good.
Any awful habit repeated over a long period takes you one step farther away from your future goals. Similarly, every decent habit performed diligently over time pushes you a step closer.
"We are what we repeatedly do, Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit."
Your habits can either make or mar you. The thing about successful people is that they structure their life with habits that are in line with their core values and goals.
Habits help to keep us sane and moving. Without them, we will spend too much time each day processing everything and anything. Which will inevitably slow down our progress and cause us burnout.
Even the tiniest addition of a promising habit to one’s life can cause significant differences in the long term if one is consistent.
There's a friend that is close to Richard Branson, Lance Armstrong, Jeff Bezos, Michael Phelps, Bill Gates, and every other superachiever.
His name is Big Mo.
Big Mo (or what you may commonly call momentum) is hard to unleash, but once you are able to harness it, it can catapult you to heights you never imagined.
The only to trigger Big Mo is through long and sometimes hard effort, repeated over time.
Inconsistency is the only thing that can kill Big Mo, and once it’s dead, you would have to start all over to get it functioning.
You are the average of five of the people you spend most of your time with.
And these people, or sometimes, things, we surround ourselves with have a subtle but powerful influence over our lives.
Although we may not notice it, billions of stimuli bombard our brains each day. The control we have over our lives enables us to choose what we let in.
If we aren’t choosing to allow positivity and things pertinent to our general well-being to permeate us, it will condition us to live, reacting to everything that is thrown at us. Which would be devastating.
As we undertake our journey of letting the compound interest work for us, whether we like it, we are going to encounter brick walls.
These times are when we will be pushed far away from our limits. We will have to look deep within ourselves for our true nature; if we are going to crack like nuts or persevere through the odds. And if we eventually overcome this barrier that separates our old selves from who we desire to be, that is when the true, lasting change happens, pushing us far ahead of the competition.
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