Loose Change That Turned Into a Mountain and The Compound Effect

Once in awhile I find myself buying things with cash — not all that often, mind you. When I do I get a pocket full of change and depending on whether I am on my way home or on my way to work, the change ends up in one of two places. If I am going home, my nearly five year old son gets it and he puts it in a tzedakah box — charity begins at home, right? When I am at my office, however, I have a place on my monitor stand where I dump the change… and there it sits.

One afternoon a coworker came barreling down the stairs yelling about needing change and waving three dollar bills around in the air. I didn’t even think anything of it but I noticed the change on the monitor stand and remembered that I did indeed have some — and mentioned it. I counted out four quarters — one dollar. Another four quarters — two dollars. Suddenly I was counting more quarters and dimes and nickels — and she handed over three full dollars.

Again — I never really paid any mind to the change I was putting on the stand. It was more just to get it out of my pocket as I found it to be irritating. I never really thought of it as actual money until I suddenly was face to face with three full dollars. I realize that three dollars doesn’t go a long way in 2015 but on the other hand, it can get you some rice and beans and that’s a legitimate meal in my world.

There’s a fantastic book that you definitely need to read called The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy. The thrust of the book is that there is no magic bullet that will propel you to success — but the daily discipline of doing small actions that bring you closer to your goal. Imagine a person participating in NaNoWriMo that writes “only” one hundred words per day. At the end of the event, they have written about three thousand words — but three thousand more words than a person who refuses to write even one word unless they know they can make time to write three thousand and therefore never writes any!

Whether for good or for bad, our actions and choices add up. A missed workout one day can lead to two days, then weeks, then months… how did I get so out of shape? It didn’t happen because of one missed workout and it didn’t happen because I had one chocolate donut… but like the change on my desk it all adds up.

Get yourself a planner, make a list of what you need to get done and then every day do something to get you closer to those goals. And of course, if you have not yet taken the free course 30 day Push by Chalene Johnson, commit to doing so!


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