My guess is that many of you who read this blog suffer from the self-imposed belief that you always have to be “on” and “productive”. You’re a SERIAL ACHIEVER that has a hard time shutting it off and shutting it down. You always have to be learning. When you’re not learning you’re taking action and applying what you’ve learned.
You’re almost always doing one of the following:
You’re Taking Massive Action.
Rinse & Repeat!
It’s what we know will get us everything we desire in this life.
People like us realize that if you don’t go to work building your own dream, you’ll end up living your whole life building someone else’s dream. We take solace in the fact that we can and will design the life we desire through pure AMBITION if necessary. We will overcome the lack of innate talent by out working and out learning those that are naturally more gifted then we are.
We realize that compound effort is just as powerful as compound interest.
We innately know that those who never stop learning will always have the knowledge edge.
We have internalized the concepts of The Slight Edge.
We accept the fact that any signs of visible progress will be almost invisible when starting out our exponential ascent. In the early stages of our journey, visually there appears to be very little if any difference between taking action and doing nothing. However, we are not fooled.
We know the story of the penny doubled for 30 days. The one where two brothers are faced with a decision. Either take $1M today or a penny doubled for 30 days. One brother takes the $1M as if it were a no brainer decision (represents most people). The brother who takes the $1M is not only short sighted, but suffers from the ability to only think in a linear fashion. The other brother possess foresight and wisdom and realizes the power of the exponential curve.
Let’s quickly indulge ourselves in how the next 30 days play out for the brother that chooses a penny doubled for 30 days.
Day 0 – You have $0.01
Day 1 – You have $0.02
Day 2 – You have $0.04
Day 3 – You have $0.08
Day 4 – You have $0.16
Day 5 – You have $0.32
Day 6 – You have $0.64
Day 7 – You have $1.28
Day 8 – You have $2.56
Day 9 – You have $5.12
Day 10 – You have $10.24
Day 11 – You have $20.48
Day 12 – You have $40.96
Day 13 – You have $81.92
Day 14 – You have $163.84
Day 15 – You have $327.68
Day 16 – You have $655.36
Day 17 – You have $1,310.72
Day 18 – You have $2,621.44
Day 19 – You have $5,242.88 (at this point the brother is yelling “I told you so”)
Day 20 – You have $10,485.76
Day 21 – You have $20,971.52
Day 22 – You have $41,943.04
Day 23 – You have $83,886.08
Day 24 – You have $167,772.16 (brother again “You should have taken the $1M”)
Day 25 – You have $335,544.32
Day 26 – You have $671,088.64
Day 27 – You have $1,342,177.28 (brother says nothing, but has disbelief on his face, thinking “how could this happen”)
Day 28 – You have $2,684,354.56
Day 29 – You have $5,368,709.12
Day 30 – You have $10,737,418.24
At the end of the 30 days the brother who chose the $1M feels cheated. He feels unlucky.
I love this story!
But where am I going with all of this?
The other day I was chatting with a friend on Google Hangouts. We were catching up on life and careers. Our conversation is what prompted this post today and it went something like this:
Friend: So, that VP role you’re up for this summer?
Friend: 3 years ago you were a Senior Financial Analyst. How is this happening???
The reality is that it was 10 years in the making.
How do you make what appears to be quantum leaps?
1 – You outwork all your co-workers
2 – You never stop learning
3 – Invest in yourself constantly
4 – Develop skill sets outside of your current role
5 – Help as many people as you can get what they want. The universe has a law that when you do this, you will always get what you want.
At the end of the day its a lot of work, and most people are not willing to pay the price. That is not good or bad, you just have to be honest with yourself and what you want. And figure out if the sacrifice is worth it or not.
The ladder to the top is never as crowded as people think it is.
Most people will sizzle out.
They will get content and lazy.
The extra mile is never crowded as they say.
Off my soap box!
This conversation was the genesis of this post. When you operate your life on the principles of the The Slight Edge philosophy, one day you will look like an overnight success to all those around you…at least the ones not operating on same Slight Edge philosophy as you.
What they fail to realize is that you were playing the long game and that your major successes were 10 years in the making. Most people are confused and have somehow been brainwashed to believe that success is something that happens too you, as if some magical force in the universe chooses who will be blessed with the gift of success.
In reality we make our own success!
The moral of the story?
That’s for you to decide. This is just a story that I felt compelled to share. I hope it forces you to think. I hope it moves you to action.
What say you? What do you think the moral of this story is?
-Gen Y Finance Guy