Is your experience compounding?

We learn something from everything that we do.

Some things, however, are more valuable to us over time.

It can be looked at similar to the idea of compound interest.

While there is a return from learning any one of the huge amounts of things you can learn, the aim should always be to learn things that have a greater return than the sum of their parts — to learn things that compound the value of the experience on preexisting experiences so that you can achieve more in the future.

A simple example of this could be learning a language. You will get much better at that language if you just stick to it and don’t try to learn others.

The compound interest of experience builds over time and, eventually, you become an expert.

While you could say that learning many languages to a low level has a compound effect as it helps your brain to become learning at languages, the final return on this is only realised when you learn many languages.

It depends on your goal.

There’s nothing wrong with having a wide range of basic language skills, but you’ll be able to do a lot more with an expert level in one language than you would be able to being an amateur in five.

The same goes for other aspects of your career.

It can be fun to have a wide range of unrelated experiences, but you’re much more valuable if you’ve compounded your learning opportunities in a way that makes you much more experienced in a specific area.