Albert Einstein allegedly said that compound interest is “the most powerful force in the universe.”
He likely didn’t say that, but that doesn’t mean the sentiment isn’t correct.
Compounded gains are so powerful that people tend to underestimate what they mean over time.
Warren Buffet certainly agrees. The Omaha billionaire understood from an early age that small investments made consistently over time multiply on themselves and become huge sums.
Brad Stulberg points out that compounding gains are not limited to the realm of money. Small consistent steps lead to enhanced fitness, sleep, nutrition, meditation, and even to starting a business.
You build on what you did today tomorrow. You start the next day just a little bit better, often so little you can’t even measure it, than you were the day before. But if you add up those increments over the course of a lifetime, the result can be massive.
With compound interest, you let your money run on autopilot. With other compounding gains, you develop habits that put your efforts on another form of powerful autopilot.
Compounding gains are also a powerful aspect of a personal enterprise approach to work and life. Instead of a traditional career and investment strategy, you view everything you do as an investment.
That means time spent serving a client, creating a product, and sweat equity in other people’s ventures. Then there’s money invested in unique opportunities that come to you because of the profile your “portfolio” approach creates.
Many people our age view freelancing or consulting as “Plan B” in case of a layoff. But what if you instead viewed it as the base of your personal enterprise pyramid?
In other words, you look at your base skill-set as the initial compounding investment of yourself into something much more future-proof and satisfying. And the end result is bigger than just a way to earn a living.
That’s because a personal enterprise approach to work can also be the catalyst for massive personal growth. Since at midlife you’re more likely to choose your business projects with an enhanced sense of purpose, you’re also creating positive change in your personality (which is what personal growth is).
Don’t let change just happen to you. Create your change.
The best time to start is now.
Old Is As Old Does
Studies show that the way you think about aging affects your quality of life as you age, as well as how long you live. According to one study, people who thought of themselves as younger than their actual age lived approximately 50 percent more years.
Shroom to Grow
Mushrooms (not the Deadhead variety, just your regular fungi) provide a host of wellness benefits, including immune defense and support, mental focus and energy, skin and gut health, and stress relief.
Just Say No
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are.” ~ Steve Jobs
Changing your life means choosing to become a different person. You can’t consistently get the benefits of change without renovating your identity. While it’s not as easy as flipping a switch, it’s definitely easier than finding a phone booth.
Down below, Trudi explores the personal benefits of helping others. And in the Flashback, Lenny Bruce is not afraid.
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By Trudi Roth
With so much beyond our control lately, feeling helpless and hopeless is understandable. And it’s widespread, with signs of depression tripling in the US since COVID-19 hit.
This is not to bum you out, but rather to let you know you’re not alone. And also to point out that wallowing in that quagmire can be hazardous to your mental health.
Getting unstuck from unhealthy patterns of stress and worry takes resilience. A fundamental way to bolster your adversity-fighting reserves is to go beyond yourself to find purpose by helping others.
Science shows that paying it forward has a boomerang effect, decreasing the giver’s stress and anxiety and increasing satisfaction and happiness. So even in the face of a pandemic, eco-disasters, and political and social unrest, you can find solace by doing good.
The Benefits of Benevolence
Research shows that simple acts of kindness can yield profound shifts in health and well-being. In the 1980s, researchers documented a phenomenon dubbed “helper’s high.” The rush of emotions from selfless service increases the same feel-good hormones as self-care faves sex and meditation.
Likewise, spending money on others is shown to provide a “warm glow” that lasts far longer than spending on yourself.
Filling someone else’s tank when you’re running on empty might sound counter-intuitive, but new research that spanned nearly two decades and 70,000 participants says it’s the perfect time to get your altruism on:
Although it’s true that people who are happier do tend to spend more time volunteering, the current study suggests that you don’t need to already feel happy in order to benefit from it. In fact, some research suggests that people who start out with lower levels of well-being may even get a bigger boost from volunteering.
Turns the old “give ’til it hurts” paradigm on its head, doesn’t it? Science shows it’s more like it hurts ’til you give.
Get By With a Little Help for Your Friends
At first glance, finding ways to give back during the pandemic might seem challenging. After all, some of the benefits of traditional volunteering, including getting out, making social connections, and combating loneliness, are limited by social distancing.
With giving back, however, what you do is as impactful as how you do it. Studies show talking someone else through a problem you face can help alleviate your struggles. And a felt obligation for someone else can bolster your coping mechanisms.
For example, helping my computer-illiterate neighbor file for unemployment gives me a special purpose. It takes a few minutes, but between the act itself and discussing ideas for how she can earn cash on the side, I’ve noticed that I feel more optimistic about her prospects — and mine.
So, instead of giving up, consider looking for ways to give back. Doing good is good for you.
How Volunteering Can Help Your Mental Health (Greater Good Magazine)
R.E.M. – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
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