compounding effect


The Compounding Effect of Unresolved Problems

We all are familiar with the compounding effect of interest rates. The longer the term of a loan is, the more money you pay back to the lender. Even worse, if the term is twice longer, you don’t pay twice in interest, you pay more than twice. In other words, it is not a linear problem. And if you skip a payment, the interest keeps compounding even more. The same can be said of in everyday life problems. Let’s create a scale to measure the level of concern caused by a problem. Say zero is no concern, no problem at all; and 1000 is the worst concern, the worst problem you may ever have. Imagine now you have a small problem, for instance, a level-10 problem. Since it is a small problem, you don’t worry much and don’t try to resolve it immediately. You keep going on with your life as if you had no problems. But remember, the concern is still there, and once in a while your mind wanders, goes back to the problem, and it reminds you of the concern, anxiety, or as a minimum, it distracts you for a moment. Since your mind is not one hundred percent present in the things you need to do every day, you will make mistakes. Some mistakes will be small, some will be big. These will cause a new problem, say a problem of level-5, and now you have two problems, instead of one. When you have two problems that are concerning you the compounding effect starts working. You don’t have a concern level-15 (10+5), but a concern level-10 times level-5, that is a concern level-50. What happens is that your mind has now three things to worry about, the two problems and the present activities of life. Even worse, very often, the two problems are related to each other, or are intertwined by a cause-effect relationship. Your mind keeps distracted more frequently than before, and is likely to fall into the next problem more easily. In no time, without you realizing , you will have three, four, five problems, and the compounding effect will accumulate so rapidly that very easily you can reach the highest level of concern (level-1000) and give up mentally. Your brain shuts off, your energy disappears, you anxiety elevates, depression sinks in, and you fall into a zombie state.

How do you get out of the compounding effect of problems? The same way you get our of debt from a bank: pay as quick as possible. That is, tackle your first problem as if it were a big problem, act quickly, and resolve it as soon as possible. Don’t let simple and resolvable problems take over your life. Make a “to resolve” list, and keep it short with no more than two items, two problems at most. If you let it grow to three, four, or more problems, you will fault and begin the bankruptcy of your life.

Good luck resolving!

C.A. Soto Aguirre©