Keep Going with This #1 Tool, The Compound Effect

Keep Going with This #1 Tool, The Compound Effect

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You’ve heard it all before. Persistence is everything. Consistency leads to success. If you want to achieve greatness, it starts with one foot now and a thousand steps later. Reading all of this begs the question, how much does it matter that we stay on track? Well, as we’ll see, it matters quite a bit actually, and maybe all of the sayings are onto something. When you keep going, you keep growing.

Keep Going Towards Something

Before I dive deep into the explanation and fight for consistency, let’s set up some boundaries. An idea often overlooked in motivation and its theory is the what, not the why. The what is a plan and it shows us how to get there, the why gives us the reason to. Without a plan, you’ll be more than lost; you’ll be needlessly spinning your wheels. Plans are everything if you want to keep going.

Plan it Out First, Then Go for It

For everything to take effect and for you to reap what you sow, you need to plant the best trees. Now, I go much more in depth in other posts about how to plan and what not to do (see Time to Work, Time is Limited, Bullet Journal), and so I’ll keep it pithy. Planning primes success. Planning is half the battle, so don’t miss out on such a controllable advantage. Keep going in the right direction, and the rewards will match the effort.

You’ve Planned, Now What?

Are the sayings true? If I keep going, will it pay off? Instead of slamming you with data showing correlations of success with determination or referencing Grit and how vital dedication is for success, I’ll instead argue a simpler point, the compound effect. What does the compound effect, a mathematical term, have to do with planning and making progress?

The Compound Effect Applied to Us

The compound effect quickly defined is receiving more from your pile once you’ve added onto it. You then let that increase grow, too. You have $10 and receive 10% ($1), the next time you receive 10%, it will be ($1.10). Simple right? Well, applied to us, it feels more abstract, but it isn’t. Here’s why.

We Are Our Own Plant to Grow

Each time we improve our skills, whether it’s our reading capabilities, finances, or mood, we set ourselves up for an even bigger gain. When we keep going we set ourselves up for even better rewards (see Patience is a Virtue). Now, let’s run with that idea. Every time we learn more, we can then use what we have to go even further. We set into motion a massive growth, and it starts once we plant a seed.

Consistency Leads to Compounded Growth

Keep Going with This #1 Tool, The Compound Effect

Once we set off this chain reaction, every action is more powerful. Each step has more meaning, more response, more impact. It becomes easier and easier to keep going once we see our progress. I think what people should have argued for when they talk about consistency is not how much the science supports it, but instead, how much our actions will.

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