Stop me if you’ve heard this… actually don’t, because it’s so good.
Would you rather me get $1 million dollars today or a mere penny that would double each day for 30 days?
The million dollars is great. Yet the penny doubled each day would be worth $5,368,709.12 in only 30 days.
There are multiple fables that tell this story: one involving grains of rice from a selfish raja in India; another with two sons’ inheritance from their wealthy father.
Both showcase the cunning and forward thinking of the person who chooses the single grain of rice or 1 penny. The stories show the foolishness of the opposing point of view.
Typically, this fable & mathematical exercise is told in the context of compound interest for investing. How starting small and growing over time creates a massive windfall.
Consider that this concept and mathematical equation works in every area of your life. Sure, if you save & invest even a modest amount of money over your career you’ll retire a millionaire. And if you consistently invest a modest amount in your health, in your key relationships, in your spiritual journey you will also have abundance there, too.
More salads instead of more burgers; workout instead of hitting snooze; a phone call now vs “we’ll talk later, I’m sure”; moving aimlessly through life or connecting with a higher purpose.
If you’ve heard this fable, you chose the penny when I asked the question. (Even if you’ve not heard the fable you probably chose the penny because you figured there was a catch. You’re so smart!) It makes sense, doesn’t it? Something that can start out so small can turn into something so big. We nod our heads to the concept. You get it.
Yet, many times we don’t live our lives this way. It could be that we don’t connect our current activities with our future. Or it could be that abundance in certain areas of our life seems so far off that it’s overwhelming.
Here’s the point I want to make here with this fable: It’s not about the end result – the total sum in 30 days. It’s about the penny.
We all can give a penny. No matter where you’re at in any area of your life – you have a penny to invest. This also applies to the way you think and the emotions you carry around. You can make a penny’s worth of change.
Stop focusing on the $1 million dollars today that you don’t have and focus on applying the penny that you do have.
Ask yourself: what’s a penny I can invest in my health today… in my key relationship… in my mental & emotional defaults… in my happiness.
Give that penny today. Give a little more tomorrow and then the next day. What starts with a penny can snowball into the person you want to be.