Compounding Personal Growth: What and How


All of us have unlimited dreams and aspirations. One person alone could have a thousand dreams and all of them are worth fighting for. Unfortunately, not every dream can come true. Every now and then, we have to make sacrifices for the sake of our future. At this point, everyone is well-aware that for every decision we make, it bears an opportunity cost that anyone should never underestimate. 

But even with this knowledge, why do people still fail to grasp the concept of personal growth?

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Let’s talk about compounding growth

When asked how to get smarter, Warren Buffet held up a pile of reading material and said, “Read 500 pages like this every week. That’s how knowledge builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” Keyword: compound interest. Yes, personal growth is akin to saving money. For every penny you invest, it will grow exponentially, instead of linier, as time goes by.

This implies two things: First, you only have to invest so little in your personal growth to make a remarkable difference in the future. To put things into context, according to Brian Thorson, if you were to invest a dollar a day for an entire year, it would be worth $3,672.87 after thirty years. Now if you invest a dollar a day for the next thirty years, that investment’s future value is $44,656.24, a $33,706.24 growth over contributions. The point is that anyone could afford to invest a dollar (or its equivalent in terms of personal growth) every day and the result will be significant in the long run.

Secondly, you need to understand that the result will not be instantaneous. A dollar you save today will not make you a millionaire overnight, but it could be in thirty years. Similarly, reading a book won’t make you smart the next day, but it will improve your odds of becoming an expert in the future. Starting healthy eating habits will serve you well for your future well-being. This is where most people fail, personal growth is not only about sacrifice, but also consistency. Thus, personal growth is not a one-time thing, it is a commitment you make for the benefits of your own future.

How to compound your personal growth

In a nutshell, the power of compounding comes down to one thing; adopting the right habits. Remaining consistent and resilient in the pursuit of self-development makes it easier when you have to negotiate with yourself. There are going to be times when you feel unmotivated or lazy, and adopting habits can help keep you stay in line. As Colin Powell famously said, “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”

Lastly, be it making money, gaining new knowledge or staying healthy, you can only manifest the future you want when you aim high but also differentiate it down so you know what to do next. So, what to do is set your goals as high as possible, but create little stepping stones along the way so you do not have to exhaust yourself by leaping in one big jump. You can adopt this method by simply keeping a journal or telling a friend about your goal.

Most of the time, you have to get rid of your old self, alongside the aspirations you never make reality. That is going to be painful because sometimes that little part of you is a bit alive. However, let’s put in the faith and hope that with the courage to do so, it will lead you to a much better future.

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