Invest in things that grow in value over time.
You've probably seen some variant of this quote floating around the internet:
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn't… pays it.” —Albert Einstein? 🤔
Unfortunately, like many popular quotes floating around the internet, there's a good chance Albert Einstein never said this. 😅 But the good news is, the idea itself holds true regardless: compound interest is an incredibly powerful tool for sustained growth.
Why compounding matters
Here's a quick example of why compound interest is so powerful:
If you saved $100 every month for 30 years, you'd wind up with $36,000. But...
If you saved the same at an annual compound interest rate of 7%, you'd wind up with a whopping $122,626.69.
The takeaway here is: compounding leads to huge gains over time.
How to be a Jiu-Jitsu “compound investor”
Compound interest is normally talked about in the context of financing and investing, but it's hugely important to understand wherever you're trying to grow something over time. And yes, this includes growing your Jiu-Jitsu skills too.
If you want to see compound gains in your Jiu-Jitsu development, you need to be doing these four things:
#1: Get started early.
As Malcolm Gladwell discusses in Outliers, athletes who start early see huge advantages over others. It's not just because compounding helps them develop skills faster, but also because an early lead makes it more likely that the athlete will be considered a “top performer” and be treated accordingly.
As an athlete, if you get off to a good start in your career, you're likely going to get more attention from your coaches, more play time, and better opportunities over those who start later. This kind of “double compounding,” where you see multiple compounding benefits, is a huge advantage.
#2: If you didn't start early, get started right now.
Avoid the mental trap of thinking, “it's too late for me to get started.” It's NEVER too late to get started! Even if others got a head start on you, compounding gives you a chance to catch up if they lose their momentum or fall behind.
#3: Invest consistently over time.
Compounding only works if done consistently, and over a long time. This is where habits and routine come into play: you need to make sure you're always investing, or in the case of Jiu-Jitsu, training consistently. Take your foot off the gas and you lose the window for compound gains.
#4: Invest in things that grow in value.
Some investments gain value over time, whereas others stay the same or lose their value. This is why cars, luxury goods, and electronics are terrible investments: they don't hold their value. You see the same thing in Jiu-Jitsu, which is why you should focus the majority of your “investments” in timeless fundamentals.
Following trends and chasing the meta can help in the short-term if your fundamentals are already rock-solid, but trendy techniques are much more likely to lose value in the future as opposed to the basics. This is why Rafael Lovato Jr. preaches the “Timeless Jiu-Jitsu” approach of prioritizing things that will always be effective.
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