The Psychology of Exponential Growth

The Psychology of Exponential Growth Edzuki.jpg

The unseen power of exponential growth

Growth with a rate that becomes even more rapid in proportion to the growing total number or size. Exponential growth. "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." - Albert Allen Bartlett.

What does exponential growth have to do with underestimating people and so you may ask. The ideology that growth is dependent on previous results is evident in the world around us; whether you can see it or find examples of the above statement, the rule can be widely seen.

When you apply for a job or career you wish to obtain, employers look at your experience. If you're applying for a university or college degree, your previous results and achievements are requested. People get an impression of you based on past experiences and events. These examples fit the criteria for the rule of "growth based on previous results".

And it does seem pretty logical and wise that people do regard your past experience in deciding whether you get the job in hand or the university place you are wishing to get. But there is no mention of exponential growth and this is when people are underestimated.

Killing off future potential?

There is a belief that one can tell a lot about a person by their past experiences and as a matter of fact, it is true in some cases. However, there are some exceptions whereby your past does not matter. This is how exponential growth fits in. By convention, people, whether it be your teachers or employers, will base perceptions on who are you by using your previous results. Fair play to them, as this often works to build and discover the potential within people.

But it fails to address undiscovered potential. In conventional education, we are told that you should get the best grades and achieve the best results through vigorous testing and examinations. Through thorough theory learning and schooling, the education system has done its best to separate the "gifted" with the "not so gifted."

And if you are good at this and find yourself achieving the grades you want, we can only congratulate you. But what about those who aren't great at this conventional grade system, yet. After all, great things take a lot of time and patience. What happens in this scenario (most of the time) is that people are led to feel inferior to their counterparts and often disregarded as "low-achieving". Just because you aren't great in written theory, does not mean you won't achieve great things in other fields.

Exponential growth within us

People are given no chance to present and show others their potential due to the fact that people stop them before they even have a chance to do it. I often refer to this as the cut-off point. Although the people judging you cannot see your future growth, exponential growth dictates that you are bound to grow even greater after this cut-off point.

If a scenario such as this occurs where people tell you that you cannot do something which you heavily believe in, do not listen to them. Those are the people who disregard exponential growth too soon and fail to address your will power and determination.

Even though you may not catch sight of it at first, exponential growth is a power law. Many underestimate this law and fail to capture the future growth within people. It is always good to evaluate people based on past experiences and many do, but what is even greater is the belief that someone can achieve greater things in the future, disregard their past.