Habits Compounding

  • Success is the product of daily habits; not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.
    • Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits.

    • You get what you repeat
  • You expect to make progress in a linear fashion and it’s frustrating how ineffective changes can seem during the first days, weeks, and even months. It doesn’t feel like you are going anywhere. It’s a hallmark of any compounding process: the most powerful outcomes are delayed.

  • This where habits compounding comes in
    • Examples of compounding
      • Positive
        • Productivity compounds
          • Accomplishing one extra task is a small feat on any given day, but it counts for a lot over an entire career.

          • The more tasks you can handle without thinking, the more your brain is free to focus on other areas.

        • Knowledge compounds
          • Learning one new idea won’t make you a genius, but a commitment to lifelong learning can be transformative.

          • Furthermore, each book you read not only teaches you something new but also opens up different ways of thinking about old ideas.

        • Relationships compounds
          • People reflect your behavior back to you. Being a little bit nicer in each interaction can result in a network of broad and strong connections over time

      • Negative
        • By themselves, some common causes of stress are manageable. But when they persist for years, little stresses compound into serious health issues.

        • The more you think of yourself as worthless, stupid, or ugly, the more you condition yourself to interpret life that way. You get trapped in a thought loop. The same is true for how you think about others. Once you fall into the habit of seeing people as angry, unjust, or selfish, you see those kind of people everywhere.

        • Riots, protests, and mass movements are rarely the result of a single event. Instead, a long series of microaggressions and daily aggravations slowly multiply until one eventhe events tips the scales and outrage spreads like wildfire.