“The real cost of a four dollar a day habit over 20 years is $51,833.79. That’s the power of the compound effect.” Darren Hardy.

The compound effect is probably one of the most powerful forces when it comes to building for the future.

What is the compound effect

Imagine putting a pound in a jar every day for the next 10 years. Not having that pound to spend on that particular day will not make that much difference to your life, but after ten years you’ll have £3650 to splash out on a great holiday.

If you put that money into an interest generating account and add the impact of interest, then you will have even more money at the end of 3650 days.

Alternatively, imagine looking in the mirror one day and acknowledging that you have a 30lbs to lose. Those extra 30lbs didn’t suddenly appear out of nowhere. They crept on over a period of months, or even years as your lifestyle become more sedentary. You know that you will not be able to lose those 30lbs in one week (even the most magical weight loss pills won’t make that much difference in such a short amount of time!)

However, making small, achievable changes day by day, week by week, will see you looking in that mirror 12 months from now having reached the diet and exercise goals you set yourself.

This is the power of small, incremental steps building up positively to make a real difference.

How the compound effect can help others

Charities across the globe have long understood the power of the compound effect when it comes to raising funds. In Islam, it is expected to give Zakat, or in other words to donate a portion of your wealth to the poor and vulnerable.

For one person to give Zakat, the amount is not life changing. However, if you imagine that there are over 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide all following the same directive, then that is a staggering amount of money that is generated specifically to help those who are living in unfortunate circumstances.

Darren Hardy and the compound effect

Darren Hardy is one of the most successful entrepreneurs who has written extensively about the importance of the compound effect, and how it has been integrated into his overall business and life philosophies.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

He also quoted:

“It’s not the big things that add up in the end; it’s the hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.”

How to integrate it into your life

It is one thing understanding the power of the compound effect, but for many incorporating it into daily life seems simple, but ends up being too difficult. After all, if it were that easy we would all be doing it.

Discipline is a key component. The discipline to keep your head down and power through the difficult and challenging moments. The discipline to know that there are going to be uncomfortable moments ahead, and to learn how to tolerate that discomfort.

The first step is to take a long hard look at your daily habits. How much time do you waste endlessly and aimlessly scrolling through social media? How much time do you waste slumped in front of the TV filling your head with mindless rubbish. We all end up clinging to comfortable routines that do not serve us simply because they give us comfort in an often frightening world. Recognising this is part of the first step. The second step is harder – changing them!