How to Use The Surprising Power of Compound Interest in Life

The Power of Compound Interest In Life - By SUMIT GUPTA

The Power of Compound Interest In Life – By SUMIT GUPTA

When I was young my mother used to wake me up 5 minutes earlier than I had told her to, and made me study any of my school books before getting ready to go to school. I often used to ask her – “how would studying this for just 5 minutes make any difference?” And she would say – “You will know that by the end of the year.” It took me a few years to realise how much my good grades were determined by those 5 minutes of study time daily.

We all know the power of compound interest when it comes to money. This article will focus on how we all can use the same principle of compound interest in other areas of our life to get enormous gains. Only if we realize, that is.

Doing something small, which might look very trivial and futile, and doing it regularly without fail – no matter what it is, will take your skills in that area to a totally different level over time. This habit has stayed with me ever since my childhood, and I have used to learn several new skills. Below are a few examples we can make our lives better in just 5 minutes –

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.” ― Albert Einstein

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”
― Albert Einstein

  1. Just spend 5 minutes reading a book every day, and by the end of the year, you will have finished many books and you will have many new skills and learnings. I still carry this habit which my mother imbibed in me so many years ago.
  2. Spend 5 minutes exercising every day, and you will be amazed at how much strength and energy you have after a few months.
  3. Getting up Early – If you get up at 8 am and want to move to a 5 am routine, start with just a 5 minute early start. Get up at 7:55 am for a week, and then get up at 7:50 am the next week. In around 9 months, you will be waking up at 5 am without even noticing it.
  4. Write – If you always want to write something but never had the time to do so, just write the topic and title of what you want to write about today. Tomorrow, just write a few bullet points. Over the next few days – take each point and expand it to a paragraph. Within a week, you will have a full page post ready.
  5. Photography – I was always interested in making better photos and photography, but never used to get the time to do so. After 4 years of buying my DSLR, I finally decided to give 5 minutes to photography daily – whether it is shooting any subject I could find at my home or outside, or reading an article or watching a video about it. Within a couple of years, my photography skills had improved so much that I now take it very seriously and might even do it professionally at some point in the future.

So think about the things which are not working in your life and career right now, or stuff for which you don’t have time. Now, start doing just 5 minutes of it daily, and stick to it.

Things to Take Care
While it is easy to do something for just 5 minutes a day, it is also very easy to forget doing your 5 minute task. There are a few things we can do to keep at this habit –
1. Set a reminder in your phone. Once the alarm goes off, make it a priority to do your 5 minute task.
2. Watch yourself get better in that skill over time. Celebrate for 5 minutes every now and then, for sticking to the habit and for the getting better.

Explaining the Lull in Writing

I had been writing pretty regularly from 2010 onwards till 2013. I have hardly written anything this year, and whatever little I have written, I have not posted it on this blog – . Many of my friends have asked me to start writing again, and have questioned me time and again why I have stopped writing. To be honest, I have been asking the same question too. I decided to write this article to better formulate my thoughts on this topic, but now I have decided to post this online for all to read and know.

So the question first – Why haven’t I been writing anything lately?

Well, there are two big reasons for that, and I will try to elaborate on them below, as clearly as possible.

1. I didn’t have much to say

I have always tried to be very honest in my writings, and always written what I wanted to say. I have written because there was something I needed to communicate, and not because I ‘should’ write an article on my blog regularly. But there are a few events in life which alter the way you view life so drastically that even you can’t believe it. On the outside, everyone thinks you are the same person, and expect you to behave like you have always done. But inside, you are in such a conflict that you are just hoping to figure it all out. You don’t see the world the same way, don’t think the same way, don’t believe what you used to before. I was in such a state after my mother passed away. I could not resonate with whatever I had written previously, as my thinking, beliefs and actions had changed suddenly.

I did not write anything because I had nothing to say. I read my own articles and poems and they felt so alien now. I was not interested in the ideas and projects I was so excited about before. I shut off – the start up I was working on, moved back to Delhi and got back to a job. I wrote a few articles here and there, but the frequency was nothing like before.

2. Coding and Photography

Once I moved back to Delhi in Nov 2012, I stopped my involvement in every social project or tech startup I was involved with. I had a new job in a new city, so I just dived back in all the tech stuff and computer programming/coding, which I still enjoyed. A few months later, at an office off-site, I brought along my DSLR, which I had bought in Bangalore 3-4 years earlier, but never used it a lot due to work or some other project I was so occupied with while in Bangalore. It would not be wrong to say that I haven’t put the camera down after that. I have always loved photography right from my childhood, but over the last two years, I have connected with my camera like never before. It became a medium for me to hide behind and communicate to the world in a totally different way.

A sunset in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan

A sunset in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan

Over the last two years, I have traveled and taken my camera to places all over the country. For Leh in the north to Rajasthan and Pune in the west, to Sikkim in the east and to numerous other places near Delhi. Apart from these travels, I have taken my camera out on the streets of Delhi and captured some candid street shots. After a lot of gear hopping which resulted in two new cameras and another set of expensive lenses to go along, I am getting the feeling that I am just getting started in a new way of communicating – via my photographs.

Looking ahead, I am not sure whether this is just a phase or this is something that will last for long. Well, time will tell. As of now, I am looking to start a photography specific blog where I will write less and try to say more through my photographs. I will also keep on writing on this blog whenever I have something to say, whatever the frequency of that be, in the future.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
— Ansel Adams

A candid street scene in Paharganj, New Delhi

A candid street scene in Paharganj, Delhi

यह आँखें तुझे ही ढूंढे माँ

सुबह सुबह जब आँख खुले
पल पल जब तक रात ढले
यह दिल तुझे ही महसूस करे माँ
और यह आँखें तुझे ही ढूंढें माँ


तेरी दांट मुझे अक्सर याद आये
प्रेम से पड़ी मार आज मुझे रुलाए
यह कान तेरी ही वाणी ढूंढे माँ
और यह आँखें तुझे ही ढूंढे माँ

तेरे हाथो का स्पर्श नहीं भूला मै
तेरी गोद की नींद नहीं भूला मै
यह मस्तक तेरा ही आँचल ढूंढे माँ
और यह आँखें तुझे ही ढूंढे माँ


तेरी ममता की चादर बहुत बड़ी है
तेरे प्यार की बोछार एक निरंतर झड़ी है
मेरा हर शब्द तुझे ही हर पल पुकारे माँ
और यह आँखें तुझे ही ढूंढे माँ

माँ की हस्ती – Maa Ki Hasti (Who is a mother?)

सागर से भी विशाल हो प्यार जिसका
जो हर ठोकर के बाद दिखाए सही रास्ता
जो इन्सान होकर भी हो एक फ़रिश्ता
उस हस्ती को कहते है माँ !!

जो तुम्हारी फ़िक्र को तुमसे पहले जाने
जो तुम्हे तुम्से भी बहतर पहचाने
तुम्हारी हर इच्छा पे जो कह दे हा
उस हस्ती को कहते है माँ !!

A mother is person who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take. - Cardinal Mermillod

A mother is person who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take. – Cardinal Mermillod

जिसकी गोद हो तुम्हारा तकिया
जो तुम्हे सुलाए गाते हुए लोरिया
हमेशा रहेगी साथ जिसकी दुआ
उस हस्ती को कहते है माँ !!

जो ऊँगली पकड़ चलना सिखाए
हर मुस्किल में होसला बढ़ाये
अपने खून से जो लिखे हमारा भविश्य
उस हस्ती को कहते है माँ !!

जो तुम्हे मारे भी प्यार से
तुमसे रूठे तो भी प्यार से
तुम्हारे आँसू देख जो रो पड़े
उस हस्ती को कहते है माँ !!

जो आँख खोले तो तुम्हे ही ढूंढे ,
आँख बंद हो तो तुम्हारे ही सपने देखे
जो खुदा से भी मांगे तुम्हारी ही खुशिया
उस हस्ती को कहते है माँ !!

The End, or a New Beginning?

It has been three months today since my mother passed away, and since I have written anything. Maybe because words aren’t enough to capture what is going on in my mind lately. Maybe because I don’t want the world to see me vulnerable. Maybe because I am scared or confused, frustrated and angry.. Or perhaps, it is life’s way of teaching me something new. Three months have passed, and although I am more at peace, I have come to realize that life will NEVER be the same again…

It has not been easy – these last three months. I have often found myself lost and asking questions like –  Where I am going? What purpose will it serve? What do I want? And who and what really matters? It has been a painful process, but I guess there are also some lessons and learnings in it. I have done things in the last three months I have never done before, or never thought I would do. But does anything matter?

As some of my friends have reminded me, I should write again. And so I am writing this small post to tell the world I am still alive. Life is turbulent, and I guess this is just one of those patches, and I will come out of it as a better person. And though I have not written lately, I have thought about writing a lot, and I will pick it up again soon. So hang in there, I feel a lot better every passing day.

I will leave you with this poem which I read somewhere and this is what I think She is trying to say to all her loved ones from wherever she is –

” When tomorrow starts without me, & I’m not there to see
Your eyes full of tears, showing your love for me

I wish you wouldn’t cry so much, the way you did that day
Thinking of the many things we didn’t get to say

I know how much you love me, as much as I love you
And each time you think of me, I’m thinking of you too

So when tomorrow starts without me, please try to understand
An angel came & called my name & took me by my hand

It was time for me to take my place, in heaven far above
Leaving everyone behind, especially the ones I love

As I turned & walked away, a tear fell from my eye
Remembering the life I lived & why I had to die

I do not want to go, with having so much to do
It seemed almost impossible, that I was leaving you

So when tomorrow starts without me, don’t think that we’re apart
For every time you think of me, I am right there in your heart. “