the earlier you start, the easier it is

Let’s face facts.

No matter where you live, what you do, or how old you are, today is the youngest you’re ever going to be.

When I first got into self-development and educating myself, I was 32 years young.

Today I’m 37 and a lot’s changed. I never envisioned myself writing a book, studying economics (and enjoying it), or running my own website. I became a father, said goodbye to some dear friends and made new ones.

And yet, despite being older, thanks to the journey of discovery, I feel younger than ever – both in mind and in body.

However 5 years have come and gone.

All in the blink of an eye.

One thing I’m sure most of you, my age or older at least, will attest to is that there just isn’t enough time to do everything.

It wasn’t always that way. I remember being in high school and just wondering what to do with my time.

I lived in Thailand at the time and with a 10-week summer break time ground to a halt.

Some friends stayed around for the summer, but most returned home for an extended leave. For those of us who stayed around it often felt like being part of the skeleton crew at a hospital.

Today Bangkok is a different city with thousands of kids at numerous International Schools there, but back in my day there was only one school most expat children studied at. In many ways I think many of my classmates, especially those who didn’t speak Thai (like me), felt somewhat isolated especially in the summer months.

During those summer months I had time to kill.

  • I watched movies that I had rented a second, third or even fourth time.
  • I eagerly looked forward to 4pm when it was cool enough to play basketball.
  • I counted down the days till my friends returned from overseas.
  • I did what practically every other kid would do – a lot of things that didn’t amount to much.

Time didn’t mean much to me and like any other teenager, I just couldn’t wait to grow up.

Now I so desperately wish I had that time back. Time to invest in my own future. Time to create businesses. Time to write. Time to think. Time to achieve my dreams.

It’s not going to happen so I do the next best thing – I do the best with what time I do have.

I get an education in my car.

I stay up late to work on my dreams.

I read during my lunch hour.

I exercise while watching TV.

So while I might not have time to burn any more I do have the power to help pass along the message to those younger than I – to make better use of their time.

Most of my clients are in their 30s or older, but I also am blessed to be entrusted with the education of some younger minds as well.

What everyone needs to understand is that knowledge, health, and wealth are all ruled by the law of compounding interest.

The best explanation of how compounding works I have heard is that of the doubling penny.

The idea is this – if you were given the choice of either receiving a million dollars or a penny doubled every day for 30 days, which would you choose?

The answer: the penny.

Here’s why.

  • Day 1: $.01
  • Day 2: $.02
  • Day 3: $.04
  • Day 4: $.08
  • Day 15: $163.84
  • Day 22: $20,971.52
  • Day 25: $167,772.16
  • Day 28: $1,342,177.28
  • Day 30: $5,368,709.12

The message – the sooner you start, the bigger the effect…over time.

Kids have this advantage and yet very few of them take advantage of it, so it is up to us to help them see just how powerful time really is.

Schools teach us the importance of formulas, history and writing, but time is one area I had to go and study on my own. I’m just grateful I learned about it when I’m young enough to do something with it.

We may not be able to go back in time. But we can change the future.

We can start today.

And I encourage you to do just that.

Time can be our best ally or our worst enemy; we decide.

Adrian Shepherd

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