Would you prefer to have one million dollars in one month, or have a penny, doubled every day for that same month?

It’s a popular question that illustrates the power of compounding.  The penny, doubled every day, equals more than five million dollars in a thirty day month, and nearly eleven million in a thirty-one day month.

Compounding is powerful even if you’re not doubling every day.  And it works with more than money.  If you assign a numeric value to something, even arbitrarily, it can illustrate the transformational ability of this effect.  Let’s say the value of you as a person – your abilities, output, and offerings to yourself and the world – is 100.  If you resolve to improve your self by one percent every day, in just a month, your value will be 135.  In a year, it will be more than 3,700.  However imperfect this quantification is, there is no denying that a small, daily improvement has immense power to enhance your worth.

How do you improve, even by just a little each day?  By doing.  What things matter to you?  What do you want to produce, or be skilled at?  Once you pick something, just do it.  Do a little every day.  Sure, you can read about cooking, counseling, playing the oboe, writing, tennis, or investing.  That’s fine, but it won’t be of much use unless you’re also doing those things.  It’s not that intimidating when you realize the power of compounding.

Improve yourself every day, even a tiny bit.