The Magic of Compounding — It’s Not Just for Dollars!

How in the world does lifting a 10lb weight turn a person into a body builder?  Likewise, how does one shovel full of dirt turn a city block into a massive sky scraper?  The truth is… it doesn’t.  Picking up and lifting a 10lb weight will no more turn a person into a body builder than will one scoop of earth struck by a shovel create a skyscraper.  Each of these single acts is too insignificant to yield impressive results.

However, suppose a person were to lift that same 10lb weight several times a day, day after day for a month.  It would soon become too light as the weightlifter grew stronger from continually lifting the 10lb weight.  They would soon need to begin lifting 15, or 20lbs several times a day, day after day, until this weight also became too light. Now suppose our weight lifter repeated this process day after day, month after month and year after year.  What would the result be after 1, 5, or 10 years? They would be far stronger, and more muscular, than they were when they first started lifting the 10lb weight.

Here’s the question:  Which day of weight lifting was the one that made them strong and improved their physique?  What is the very first day they began lifting the 10lb weight? Was it their most recent day in the gym?  The obvious answer is:  it was every day!   Every seemingly insignificant day spent lifting weights.  Every day of not seeing results, yet pushing forward (or up in the case of weightlifting).  Every day’s commitment to staying focused on the goal and giving consistent effort.

By themselves, each day’s effort doesn’t amount to much.  But when coupled with the effort of the days before, and the days that follow, they collectively become a powerful force.  This force, this magic, is called compounding.

We often hear of compounding in the context of investing or saving money.  We’re told to put a little money away each month and over the years the “magic of compounding will cause the amount to grow to an incredibly large sum.   It’s no different with our effort in other life endeavors.  If you want  something different in your life, cause something to happen daily to move you closer to your desired outcome.  It doesn’t have to be an extraordinary effort.  All we need is small, incremental progress done on a daily basis over an extended period of time.

This is an incredibly encouraging concept to me.  It reminds me that regardless of my endeavor, I don’t need to have all the answers before I can get started.  I don’t need to have my plan all filled out and perfect first.  I just need to take the next step today and each subsequent day.  These small steps will carry me toward my goal.  I just need to provide consistent effort over an extended period.  The magic of compounding will take care of the rest.

Share your comments:  Have you had an experience with the power of compounding?  Were in your life do you need to provide the seeds of consistency to all allow compounding to take root?

Let the power of compounding encourage you to cause something to happen… starting today!

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