Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

June 9, 2020
The financial principle of compound interest applies in all of life’s experiences

“I was in a motorcycle accident.” My friend Matt Warnock said, when I called to confirm our meeting.

A couple of days before our telephone conversation, Matt and one of his brothers were touring in Utah’s mountains on motorcycles. The weather and the conditions were perfect.  The day was perfect. That is until a sharp turn on a windy canyon road also caused a sharp turn in Matt’s physical condition.

Two days later Matt and I were talking as we drove between appointments.  

“I must have caught the foot peg on the road. It brought me down to the asphalt in a sudden slide,” he said. “It is amazing how much a person can remember in just seconds!”

He was filling me in on his accident as well as recounting some of his seemingly disparate life experiences. I say seemingly dissimilar because his stories occurred in vastly different phases and times in his life; our conversation was far from following a linear path. Yet, I was beginning to see how these varied experiences had somehow coalesced into the wonderful man he is.

I guess Matt could have revealed the story of his life in a straight, timeline fashion. How easy it would be to assemble his tales into an easy-to-understand linear format. Yet, to do so it would detract from the miracle sitting next to me. 

His manner of telling his personal story, through the principle of compounding gives insight into how life really works. There are lots of pieces to puzzle together; lots of experiences and surprises. Perhaps, to make our lives less complex, it’s sometimes easier for one to think in a simplified, timeline manner. But, to do so is akin to creating a black and white film and then, decades later giving it over to others who were not part of its original creation to colorize it without knowing any of the important details of place, time and participation. Such a process yields a cheap reproduction at best.

In business, compounding is the process in which an asset’s earnings are reinvested to generate additional earnings over time. This growth occurs because the investment will generate earnings from both its initial principal and the accumulated earnings from preceding periods. Only those who understand the principle of compounding can grasp its power. That’s true in the investment world, as well as in all areas of life. It is a revelation providing insight into how life and growth work together to make each person who they have the potential to become. Life-compounding’s effect of “interest on interest” greatly magnifies growth over time. And, just as in the financial world, such growth may be referred to as the “miracle of compounding.”

“It’s a miracle you weren’t killed,” I said during the beginning part of Matt’s tale of road rash, nerve damage and healing. Then I paused and focused on listening, because I recognized how he was using the principle of compounding to reveal his life’s true scope.  

The telling of one’s story can really only be understood through puzzling together seemingly disparate experiences. I say seemingly dissimilar, because our lives occur in vastly different phases and times. Living is a process of growth. And, life experiences can be combined to reveal increased depth and a greater whole.

Living is far more than simply following a linear path. Life-compounding reveals its miracles, one unrelated experience at a time.

Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.

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