Ever had the thought – “How the hell did I land up here?” Chances are that it wasn’t a isolated decision that brought you to that place, but a series of choices. The power of the compound effect is invisibly at work in our lives, positively or negatively… We see it manifesting in our health, relationships, business results, finances, physical environment etc.
A practical example of the principle looks like this: If two friends both at the age of 24, decide to invest enough money per month to enable them to have an investment of R1 Million at the age of 65, they will have to invest R2000 per month to get to the R1 Million. One of them starts straight away and put his R2000 per month into a savings account at 12%. The other guy waited for 6 years before he starts to save. Did you know that even if the first friend stop investing after the first 6 years without making a single deposit more, he will have just over R1 Million at the age of 65- due to the power of compound interest? The little financial ball he started rolling, picked up huge momentum over time. And the second friend will have to invest R2000 per month until the age of 62 to achieve the same balance. The six years of procrastination has cost him 27 years more than his friend and R54 000 more invested, just to arrive at the same place.
Nobody drops dead from eating one unhealthy meal. It is the compound effect of eating unhealthy meals over a period of years that produces the bad health result in your body.
The sales team’s results and company income didn’t just stop in one month. It started a few months ago when you stopped or neglected the regular one-on-one coaching meeting, the prospecting, the team sales meeting, the team building workshop, giving recognition, paying out the incentive on time…and one fine day, the result shows! Seemingly like a bolt out of the blue. Really?
Jeff Olsen in his book, The Slight Edge, explains that “success is the progressive Realization of a worthy ideal”. “Progressive” meaning that success is a process, not a destination. Failure is just as gradual. The difference between success and failure is so subtle, we most times can’t see or recognize it during the process. The difference is dictated by small, critical choices that you make daily in line with the bigger objective you are pursuing. By the time you get the feedback – when the results show – the choices and the real work are history. At the time you made those choices, nobody noticed, but you.
This is exactly where the challenge for us lies: You alone are accountable for those choices. Hardly ever does someone stand over you shoulder and say:” Come on, get up now, you said you wanted to jog the 5km early today” or “Oh no! – are you really going to eat that? How will that affect your weight loss goal?” or ” Wouldn’t it be a good opportunity now to give him some feedback on his attitude during that meeting? – I know its tough and confrontational but it is the right thing to do for the team”
These small investments – actions – choices, are easy to do and as easy, not to do. The compound effect of doing them or not doing them, will, over a period of time, show in a result. That result is either success or failure.
Well, nothing changes until you move…
Time for another little choice. What am I going to do? As you could see from the first example of the R1 million saving, there is a cost to waiting. Think about the one Thing in your life that has the greatest effect on your mental, emotional and physical well being. The Thing, that if you could change it, will have the greatest beneficial effect. Break down the achievement of that goal into small, regular daily steps or actions..Easy to do, easy not to do. Start doing as “Easy does it!” The power of the compound effect will produce the result.