Let’s talk about building on interest and rewards, the idea of compound interest... but, since we’ve already gone the way of microeconomics with that great example from up above, the one about setting goals and doing the economic Macarena, we’re going to skip left, when we should have gone right and veered into gambling. Why not go the usual route? Because I want to make this narrative stick, and let’s be honest bank talk is a dud.
You swing in Vegas, or Montecarlo, or Atlantic City, decked out to the nines in your flyest outfit. Just before swinging into the casino floor, a Leprechaun appears, don’t ask why, it’s called Magical Realism. The Leprechaun says: “Well, ye bloody git. You found my pot of gold,” you’re fairly certain he’s hammered cause you weren’t even looking for such a treasure. “Anyway, me bucko, for that you know have the luck of the Irish. No matter what happens you’ll always get a better hand than the dealer.”
Then the Leprechaun vanishes. Poof! You go to the Blackjack’s table, put down a buck, and in a flash… “21!” Goes the dealer. Now you have 2 bucks. You let it ride. Second round, you get 11. He gets an Ace card up, and - following the house rules - pulls out a third card, a 10 of Spades, flips his face down. 26! Bust!”
Now, you have 4 dollars. The streak continues. 10 minutes later your initial beat has gone from a single buck to over 300 smackers... a total of 299 dollars in winnings. All of it based, not on your initial investment, but on betting with your subsequent wins; of letting everything ride.
Compound - insert a verb - works like that. Compound investment, compound car detail, compound earnings, compound therapy... and... compound learning. You built up your repertoire, based on your initial investment. But, the real gift of compound learning comes when that Leprechaun reappears. “Oops, made a huge mistake. It wasn’t you. The luck of the Irish was meant for someone else,” he clicks his fingers and suddenly you feel every ounce of good luck slink away.
My question to you is: “Do you cash in your chips?” It depends. If you were playing on blind luck, not understanding the intricacies of the game then grab your cash and be gone. Now, if you, while winning started to pick up the rules, the tidbits, the rhythm, and the overall click of Blackjack then, by all means, stay. That’s what you learned from all those wins. You learned when you bet and when not to bet. When to hit on a card and when to stay. When to double down. When to split. You learned, during that free-for-all where you had nothing to lose, how the game was played.
Learning is like that. You have nothing to lose. All you have to forfeit is your time. If you stay with it, if you apply yourself and start to understand the importance of it - what you’re being given and how to harness it - then you won’t need-blind luck but your won skills to succeed.
Compound Learning is observing, picking up trends, asking questions, paying attention to nuances, implementing, and tying things back to whatever it is you are doing. It’s learning in one job or interaction and implementing it in a future role, then taking those learnings and implementing, constantly iterating based on new findings. It’s also this idea that tiny bits of learning can accumulate and compound on one another over time into tons of useful knowledge. All you gotta do is put a little intent behind your daily interactions.