Over the course of the last few months, the image I see of myself has changed dramatically. Previously, my identity was intertwined with (as ashamed as I was to say) university and the notions of a career. This was sprinkled in an amongst a love for music and a relentless pursuit of empathy — I always chose to see the benefit-of-the doubt and the silver linings in everything.
The instigator for this transformation has been the stubbornness in how I showed up everyday to tick off the habits and behaviours I desired to have. My identity now revolves around learning, writing, meditation, running, and reading. This has replaced completely notions of what I did at university or in my career. I have tracked each habit daily, and recently hit 100 days for them, hence why I am writing this now. Initially, there were some growing pains, and I found each a chore to do, but now, I could not see myself go through a day without reading for a couple of hours or going for a run.
Albert Einstein reportedly called compound interest “the 8th wonder of the world. If anything, that is the net result of showing up everyday to do whatever it is you want yourself to do. Showing up and doing the thing is far more important than doing it well. This is something that I fell into the trap of early on with writing. In the first couple of weeks, I would spend so much effort into writing my articles. This equated to around 3-4 hours a day, and while I don’t regret doing that, I knew it wasn’t sustainable. Eventually, my will wore down and I became comfortable with writing for 1-2 hours a day. I still believed in what I wrote, but the “need” to do something ‘great’ disappeared. It helped tremendously in making it a practice that blended nicely with the rest of life. As of this writing, I have over 100 articles published, which if I take a step back, is crazy to think about. My thinking around it has changed from “some blog posts” to my “body of work”. If that is not compound interest, I don’t know what is.
The idea of showing up everyday and compound interest is unfortunately not something they teach you in school. I feel like my life would have turned out differently if it was. Nevertheless, it is one of those things that we should keep back of mind when we are trying to something new.