Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, “Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe”. In terms of money, interest compounds over time, as you earn interest on top of interest previously earned. For example, if you save $1000 and earn 10% interest per year, at the end of the first year you will have $1100. At the end of the second year you will have $1210. Keep this money invested and after 50 years you will have turned your $1000 into about $117 000. The miracle of compounding is what makes this possible.
In the same way, the effort you make each day to do your best, adds up to huge success over time. Robin Sharma said, “Your days are your life in miniature”. So, if you make your days great then your life will also be great. When I started out writing this blog I had a goal of writing about one post every week. I didn’t start off writing 40 posts which the blog now has, I just started by writing one post at a time and eventually the number of posts grew over time. Set small daily goals that will add up to huge things when you look back on what you have done. Never focus on results because you can’t control them. Instead just control your daily effort and be willing to make changes so you improve.
An idea without action is dead, so make sure to write down ideas for improving yourself on paper and to act on them. I certainly see evidence of little efforts compounding over time when I work with students. The students who are most successful in senior math classes are those who have done all the work every day for many years. They have done their own thinking over time and this leads them to a strong foundation of knowledge so new concepts are quickly understood. Students who have avoided doing the work every day, perhaps leaving their thinking up to others, will surely struggle to understand new material. A lack of daily action compounds in a negative way. Daily effort to think leads to understanding, which allows you to expose your genius to the world. When you strengthen yourself, you will be able to give to others as well, expanding the influence of your life and bringing purpose to your effort.
Recently, I started writing in a journal to plan the following few days or week to come. Next to each of the things I have scheduled, I put a box to check when the task is completed and often the time I will take to do it. This really focuses me each morning when I review my list and in fact I usually remember what I wrote down without even reading the list. None of these little goals are too difficult, but they surely will compound into having a productive life. Every long journey begins with a single step.
Thanks for reading!