When I was in my late 20’s I made a major, life-changing, compounding decision. At the time, I looked good on the outside but was wilting on the inside. I lived a moral life, occasionally read my Bible, went to church, and was generally a nice person. But when I got home from work, I was ready to check out. Most every night I would spend my evenings flipping channels.

After a while, I grew tired of feeling like I was wasting my life. I knew the reason that I was not growing was because I had no positive input in my life. At the time, I could not remember the last book of any sort that I had read. I told myself that I was not a reader, that I hated reading. Finally, I dropped the excuses and picked up a book. I set a very ambitious goal (for me) that year of reading 10 books. Ever since that year, reading is core to my goals and my growth. The goals grew and the compounding impact of that change snowballed. Books I read in 1987, 1994 and many other years still ring in my ears today. I am a different person because of that one change. 

The starting point for growth is realizing that our current habits and practices are compounding in us to make us the people we will become in the future. This goes for habits of commission and omission. If we rarely spend quality time with our spouse, that neglect compounds into the relationship we will have in the future. We are on a path to who we will become whether we like it or not.

From that place of honest self-assessment, we consider who we want to become. This is where the beauty of compound interest comes to bear. The changes that we make in our lives will have a compounding impact for years to come.  Potent growth comes by choosing those repetitive practices that propel us toward the person we want to become. Just like with money, compounding works!

  • What one change could you make, that if compounded for 30 years, would change your life?
    • Consider reading 10 books or more a year.
    • Consider meeting with a close trusted friend weekly to share deeply about your life.
    • Consider identifying your top priority for each day and doing it.
    • Consider getting involved with a faith community.
    • Consider building a regimen of exercise into your weekly routine.
    • Consider deleting Facebook or Instagram.
    • Consider getting up 30 minutes to an hour earlier to grow your soul.
    • Consider starting a journal.

Imagine the compounding impact in 30 years of these practices!

These are just a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing. Be creative! I know of one man who has written a love note to his wife every day for over 40 years. Imagine the compound interest that practice has created!

What’s your compounding idea?