It’s really easy for us to discredit the little things in our life. Does picking a side salad instead of fries really do that much for our health? When we read 10 pages a week does it really help us get smarter? Does walking to the grocery store instead of driving really decrease our carbon footprint?
When you look through a short-term lens, our daily choices seem insignificant. And with our natural desire to seek immediate gratification for our choices, we’re pulled to do the easier or pleasurable thing because we don’t see the payoff of the inconvenience.
But through a long-term view you start to see the meaningful outcome of your positive choices. Eating a salad instead of fries can save you hundreds of thousands of calories. 10 pages a week is about 4 books a year and 20 books in 5 years. Decreasing your personal carbon emissions adds up faster than you realize!
When you make small positive choices consistently, little by little becomes a lot.
And that’s what we want right? A lot of health, a lot of wisdom, a lot of impact. But how do you expect to get there?
Put it this way, what if I told you to walk across the world. Do you think you could do it? You’d probably say it’s impossible. That’s 49.8 million steps and 24,901 miles...
But let’s say the average person walks 5000 steps a day. That means it would take 9,960 days or 27.28 years to walk across the world. That’s not a short amount of time by any stretch, but it’s also proof that we walk across the globe just by living our normal lives. And not only that, but we do it 2 or 3 times!
Now this is taking a linear approach, but what’s often more realistic is an exponential approach. This is what Darren Hardy calls “the compound effect”. Not only does daily action add to your total, but when done consistently it becomes a multiplier! So while you might not see the results of your actions in the short-term, stick with it long enough and the same amount of effort begins to yield disproportionate returns!
Ben Franklin is known for having said “Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn't, pays it.” You’re on the right side of understanding it. Now let it work it’s magic by staying disciplined to the small and seemingly insignificant actions you need to take on a daily basis, and without question the results will pile up!