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Growth: Spare Change Adds Up

by | Nov 12, 2021 | Business, Self-Help

Growth: Spare Change Adds Up

by | Nov 12, 2021 | Business, Self-Help

Everyone is looking to experience growth. Preferably, we’d all like to experience lightning-fast growth. Wouldn’t it be great if you could eat right and workout for a week and lose 10 pounds? Wouldn’t it be even better if you could read the first chapter of any book and miraculously retain and apply all of the knowledge found in that book?

Unfortunately, growth does not work that way. It doesn’t happen overnight. That said, growth doesn’t have to be that hard. Was it difficult to grow to adult height? No. Did you go to sleep one night at a height of 4’8” and wake up the next morning at 6’2”? Also no.

Spare Change

Since I started earning and spending money, I’ve kept a coffee mug on my dresser. From my teen years on. I would put all of my spare change in the mug at the end of my day. If I bought a candy bar or a new video game, I would just throw the leftover coins in the mug. I’d save fifty cents here, twelve cents there. Sometimes I wouldn’t have anything to put in the mug.

Eventually, the mug would fill up and I’d empty it out, count up the coins, and collect on my small fortune. What I began to find was that every six months or so, I’d have a nice bonus of about fifty bucks in coin. I’d haul my riches to the bank downtown and use their coin counter to cash-out on my funds.

Before I was as serious about my finances as I am now, I’d take that money and buy a new gadget, video game, meal, or whatever struck my fancy that particular weekend. Eventually, I started putting it into my savings account. It wouldn’t be much, but by the end of the year I’d have an extra $100-$150 saved.

Small Contributions Over Time Result in Massive Gains

Recently, a new connection of mine recommended that I read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. I’m about 70% of the way through the book and I really have no idea why I didn’t read this book sooner.

Darren’s main message is simple: small daily investments in yourself promote long-term growth. For a while, things might not feel like they’re shifting, but eventually you could see a massive improvement in your fitness, finances, career, relationships, and overall happiness.

So what does this look like? What is the “spare change” of your life that you could put away for a rainy day? It depends on your circumstances, but a few examples could be three sets of pushups every morning, twenty pages of a book before bed, a healthy breakfast every day, five minutes of meditation on your lunch hour, or a daily journal entry.

Reading twenty pages a day might not feel like that much, but after a month, you could have read over six-hundred pages. That’s ~7,200 pages a year. If you do that for five years, that’s 36,000 pages. Imagine what your life would look like if you read 36,000 pages of beneficial material!

Implementation = Growth

The most difficult aspect of this process in my opinion, is staying consistent. You might wake up on the first Monday of a new year and tell yourself that you’re committed to running two miles every morning, eating 1,800 calories a day, reading one book a week, and making three cold calls for your side-hustle every night on your commute home from work.

You might stay motivated for a while and see some slight returns on that. Not to doubt you, but I’d bet that you wouldn’t be able to make such a massive change in your lifestyle overnight and stay consistent for more than a month. I am certain of this because I have been exactly in that position. Multiple times…

Instead of trying to re-invent your life in 24 hours, start small. Wake up one Monday and start meditating for five minutes before breakfast every day. Do that for a while and then incorporate another small investment like reading ten pages, running a half-mile, or listening to a podcast episode. Take small steps towards making small improvements in your life.

Most of the truly successful people you hear about today did not get where they are because they decided to listen to an entire audiobook every day. They had to start from the drawing-board and play the long game. Darren references the old story about the tortoise and the hare in the first chapter of his book. He’s right, and if you follow these methods, your progress will be exponential instead of linear.

This weekend, try to think of two small things you could start doing on Monday that would be micro-investments in your growth.

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Photo Credits: Unsplash.