On my page-a-day calendar, I read this: “Render more and better service than that for which you are paid and sooner or later you’ll receive compound interest on compound interest from your investment.”
Of course it’s ridiculous to believe there is actually compound interest accumulating somewhere in the ether, but it is extremely useful to think of your effort in that way because that thought can make itself true.
When you think that way, you will work hard and enjoy it because you are assuming you’ll be compensated for any work you do. Why not work hard? Any money you’re not making right away for your extra effort is earning compound interest for you. Your extra effort is an investment that will be paid to you eventually. So your attitude is good and you are willing to work long and hard. And because you do, you will be the first one to be promoted. You will be the one the customer seeks out. You will be the one who is indispensable. People will notice the extra service and it will work in your favor constantly. Your original belief in this maxim becomes true by virtue of your belief in it.
And look at what happens to a person who doesn’t think that way. Imagine a person who thinks, “I’m not going to put out any more work until they pay me more.” Now if you were the boss, will this be the first person you consider for a promotion? If you were the customer, is that the person you want to do business with? No! Not if there is someone down the road who is giving more and better service than you pay her for. She will get the business. She will get the promotion. She is more of a pleasure to work with. Her rewards may not be immediate, but they will come. It’s the Law of Return. It is only human nature to want to do business with someone who is trying hard and has a good attitude. It’s human nature to promote someone like that. They’re obviously an asset. Many many people just try to get by. So when you work to accumulate “compound interest,” you stand out...and your ship comes in.
Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.