A One Degree difference – The Compound Effect

Many people think that just one degree difference, or just one percent change is a small, barely noticeable thing. But the truth is there are huge ripple effects to changing course by just one degree. Here’s an example of a plane flight…

One Degree Difference:

Imagine an airplane leaving from Los Angeles flying direct to Rome, Italy. The flight will take about 12 hours if the plane goes in a direct and straight line.

But, if the nose of the airplane is pointed just 1 degree off course to the south, after 12 hours the plane will land somewhere in Tunisia, Africa! If there is a one degree difference to the north the plane might land in Slovenia or Austria!

A teeny weeny difference in direction has a huge effect in outcome over a long distance.

It’s the same with our teeny weeny daily habits… Small activities repeated over and over again have a huge impact on who we become later in life.

Difference between giving 100% and 99%

This is one of my favorite visuals explaining the compound effect over 1 year.

Each day, if you give 100% of what you have — nothing more and nothing less — then you will end up the same person at the end of the year. 1 to the power of 365 equals 1.

But if you give just 1 percent more effort, compounded daily, at the end of the year you are 37 times more effective! That’s a huge result for just giving a one percent difference.


One degree difference example

On the flip side, if you were to try only 99% each day, compounded over the course of a year you will erode all the way down to 0.03. Scary how low this number looks!

Obviously, this is a drastic illustration… Nobody actually ends up being 0.03 percent of themselves after a year of laziness. But, it just goes to show how one degree difference can have a huge effect over a long period of time.

Adjusting One Degree in Your Life:

Take a quick sec today and assess your good and bad daily habits. As seemingly minor as they may be, you could wake up one day in Tunisia and not know how you got there.

Try some of these small steps in the right direction:

  • Drink 1 glass of water before your coffee each morning
  • Do 10 push ups every day
  • Try doing a favor for someone each day
  • Instead of complaining, try biting your tongue
  • Smile and say Hi to a stranger each day
  • Make 1 extra phone call at work each day
  • Give 1 coworker a compliment each day

You might not see huge differences after just a few days. But after a year you’ll be a COMPLETELY different person.

Have a great day!
– Joel


PS. For more stories like this and examples on compounding habits, skills, money, etc… borrow the book The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy from your library. Or if you want it from Amazon, get it here with this affiliate link: The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy

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