A little over a month ago, my wife and I got a puppy.
Before you say anything – I know – what were we thinking taking on this challenge? Well, I have no excuses. Though I grew up with dogs, I could never be called an animal lover. My family can attest to this fact, as they will not let me forget about the crazy turkey that chased a young me around a farm once.
But it is funny how these fur balls can rope you in. We took home the 7-pound little guy when he was 8 weeks old. Oak is an Australian Shepherd / Cattle Dog mix (also known as a “Texas Heeler”). Every day, I find myself first thing in the morning taking him for a walk, and playing fetch with him as soon as I get home.
Fortunately, we prepped for his arrival by reading The Puppy Primer. For the record, I was only allowed to handle the book once my wife had read it three times; this might give you a clue as to who wanted the dog more! I am glad we prepared, even if it was only a little bit.
“You can’t teach a dog new tricks,” so they say. With Oak, it is especially important as a puppy to teach him that jumping on people is bad, and coming when called is good. It is much more difficult to unlearn bad habits when he is grown. Each small feat builds on itself. He cannot learn “rollover” before he learns a simple “sit.” The positive traits we teach him will compound from year 1 to year 2 and so on. The small relative changes he makes on a weekly and monthly basis can result in very large absolute changes over time. This will either compound the fun Oakley brings us… or compound the misery for us and our guests over the next few years!
We are determined to have a good dog. This had me thinking about the power of compounding not only with Oakley, but in our own lives as well.
It is like reading books and building mental models. Thinking through a problem armed with knowledge compounded over time, builds on itself and creates a snowball. Over years and decades this compounding can result in broader skill sets that are exponentially more effective.
And I’d be remised if I did not mention “the eighth wonder of the world” according to Albert Einstein, compound interest.
Consider saving more $1,000 per year and earning investment returns of 8% per year. In ten years, this annual savings grows to $16k. In twenty years, this would grow to $49k. In thirty years, to $122k and 40 years to $280k. The power of compounding is real.
Starting early and saving early can have a profound impact. Working a few extra years to let a portfolio increase can also help (by providing a higher standard of living or having the ability to take less risk). Each savings habit or prudent investment decision compounds over time. Small relative changes can result in dramatically large absolute results with consistent behavior.
The power of compounding works in so many ways. He can be a trouble-maker much of the time, but we truly hope Oakley’s abilities and habits compound exponentially in a positive way.
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