Albert Einstein wisely said, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it earns it… he who doesn’t… pays it.” Compound interest is what time gives your financial investments. It is the exponential growth of accumulated interest over time. It is essentially free money awarded to those who start investing while young. In the same way that this principle works in finance, I believe that happiness compounds. Happiness is awarded to those who start living their what if while young.
The result is exponential happiness.
Those formative younger years, when we have not yet amassed responsibilities to others or crushing debts, gives us the ability to live life for ourselves. We get this one chance to say what if, to show up, to make a plan, and to afford ourselves the flexibility to change. As you will see later on, this becomes much more difficult with time. Those who start while young have a higher probability of finding happiness when they set the foundation before all those other pressures pile up.
Following on the quote from Einstien regarding compounding interest, let me offer you a simple visualization. In the graph below I’ve blotted an exponential curve (the blue line) and then another curve resulting from just 10% less input (the red line).
Given this, I hope you can see that putting in every effort to pursue your goals is very important. Also, note that a key to compounding is time. The more time you give this equation, the more it compounds. Start early and reap the benefits of Exponential Happiness!
In another post called Why Travel While Young I go into detail about how common phases of life impact one’s ability to be flexible. Flexibility is key in determining your own destiny.
Everyone has different life experiences, so it is impossible to depict some universal map of when people are flexible. However, using this cookie-cutter diagram of major life phases should give you a general sense of how the phases of your own life will impact your ability to be flexible:
Here are those 9 phases of life plotted over time with an indication of how much flexibility you will have in making major life choices during each phase.
As you can see, the period of time when you will be most flexible is during your younger years. Don’t let them pass you by!
Check out my book Exponential Happiness for loads more details on these phases of life, as well as examples of how the impacts of these phases impact (both in positive and negative ways) your ability to be flexible. The book covers this and many other topics to help you in your pursuit of happiness!
If you’re not yet ready to dive into a book, then please leave me a comment below with any questions you have and I will be happy to advise you the best I can directly!
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