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The Compound Effect

You sit down, taking a small break from your responsibilities to scroll through social media. You scroll to the next post, and then the next post, which isn’t a big deal. You only look at each post for a couple seconds, and then move on to the next one, so each scroll is a very insignificant decision that you’re making. But, you check the time and realize what was supposed to be a short break turned into an hour of screen time. All of the little, insignificant choices you made to scroll to the next post built up into the large choice to spend a whole hour on social media. This is an example of the compound effect.

The compound effect is a lot of little decisions that pile up to become something on a large scale.

It seems like most of the world is just waiting for their big break. They’re waiting for their business to really take off, or to get ‘discovered’, or for the right exposure to the right people at the right time. Thank goodness this isn’t how life works! That would be relying far too much on forces that are out of your control.

The way you make your big break is by showing up every single day, not just on the days when you’re feeling really motivated and excited about what you’re putting your efforts towards. You show up on the mundane Wednesdays and the nights you’re up a little later, or the mornings you’re up a little earlier than you wish because you made the decision to show up. You make the choice to show up when nobody is around to tell you good job and the only person that knows about your sacrifice is you.

The big wins in life are made up of all the tiny wins, the ones that are so small you don’t really even recognize them. All of your choices and habits, big or small, build up and compound into something larger.

Evaluate your day! If tomorrow you made the same choices you did today, what would your life look like? If every day this month you made the choices you did today, would you be where you want to be? Can you identify a small change you are willing to make for a more favorable outcome?

All the decisions you make about how you spend your time matter. Building habits and honoring your commitments to yourself and others is how you excel. The things that feel impossible now can feel like second nature someday by making small changes. Choose to push a little harder every day. Allow the compound effect to work in your favor!

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