The Most Powerful Force In The Universe

Neil Tran @ 2017-05-24 09:54:23 -0700

No, not Subi. (I was shocked too!)

Albert Einstein is frequently quoted as having said that compound interest is “the most powerful force in the universe”. More than likely, Einstein never actually said this. It hasn’t been conclusively attributed to him but Einstein is still getting the credit, and quote itself refuses to go away.

It’s no surprise that people love the idea of compound interest being the most powerful thing imaginable. It’s a popular idea so it gets repeated. And it’s popular because it’s intuitively true.

Compound interest is when the cost of a loan or the reward for saving builds up and contributes to the amount loaned or saved. It’s this little tiny thing that starts growing slowly and never stops. It keeps gradually building momentum, like a wave travelling across the ocean for thousands of miles, until it’s become huge and intimidating. 

But why the hell am I talking about compound interest on the Subi blog?

Because living a healthy lifestyle is a lot like earning compound interest.

The Second Most Powerful Force In The Universe

Huh? Ok, so how are lifestyle and health choices - the little decisions that go into your day to day life - like compound interest?

Well, the interest rates that contribute to compound interest are usually really low, less than 5%. But, as we saw earlier, even though they’re really small they gain a momentum of their own and have a huge impact over the long run. It’s exactly the same with decisions that influence your health; things that seem trivial in the short term end up being super important. Even something free and effortless, like drinking a glass of water (with or without Subi) every morning, will have a big positive effect after 10 or 20 consistent years.

So how can you harness this interest-like power of easy, tiny decisions and use it to your advantage?

You have to use what I call the second most powerful force in the universe: convenience.

Convenience Compounds Like Interest

Earning interest is easy. It actually works better the less attention you give it. Just leave your spare cash in a savings account and try to forget about it. It doesn’t require any further effort on your part. It works because it’s convenient.

The same logic applies with the most effective decisions you can make to point yourself in the direction of health. The easier they are for you, the more likely they are to be sustainable in the long run, the bigger the impact they have. That’s why less impressive and moderate commitments (“eggs for breakfast!”) are often more effective than large-scale, revolutionary changes (“I’LL NEVER EAT SUGAR AGAIN!”). Those smaller changes cost you less effort and attention so you’re more likely to stick with them in the long run.

There’s no difference between a healthy lifestyle achieved by “grinding” and will power, and one achieved through careful understanding of your behaviour (except that you’ll still have enough energy to enjoy the latter). So why make yourself suffer?

If you focus on making it convenient to choose healthy options you’ll probably have a right time right now, as well as in the distant future. If you think you’ve already picked all the low-hanging fruit of convenience, take a look at this article. If you see something you’re not doing, start it and stick with it for a few weeks. The first suggestion, journaling, has had a huge impact on me by giving me an overview of how I change on a daily basis.

Or if you want another suggestion, try eating 1 more serving of veg on week days. Just a few extra leaves with dinner, that’s it. If you want to max out the convenience, I know a guy ;)

If you even make one tiny change and sustain it you’ll start to reap the benefits of compounding, no matter what the improvement you make is. You’ll start to feel like a wave travelling across the wide ocean, and eventually, you’ll feel unstoppable too.