18,446,744,073,709,551,615 And Oh So Much More!

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to spark your focus on continued growth.

        Can you read that supersized number ? Neither could I the first time I saw it.  But the more I studied this number, the more intrigued I got. Now I see this string of 20 numbers as THE COMBINATION of sorts to open the lock on leadership thinking. Maybe this combination can help you too unlock even more doors to your strategic thinking prowess.

       Stay with me here, especially if you appreciate the exponential power of –well– exponential power. Turns out that 20 digit number began life as a single digit: the number 1.

      It all began with just one grain of wheat placed on one of the 64 squares of a chess board. Then that grain was doubled and placed on the second square.

  1.      Then those two grains were doubled and placed on the second square.
  2.      Those four grains were doubled again and placed on the third square.
  3.      Those eight grains of wheat were doubled again and put on the fourth square.Well you get the idea. By the 64th square, those two grains of wheat turned into 18 quintillion, 446 quadrillion, 744 trillion, 73 billion, 709 million, 551 thousand and 615 grains of wheat.

        I first learned of this fascinating number when I was learning how to play chess. I wanted to learn more about the history of the game. That’s when I learned that the King of India was so impressed with the ingenuity of the game he offered to pay the inventor anything he wanted, within reason. So the inventor asked to be paid in grains of wheat placed exponentially on the 64 squares on the chess board.

 So Many Grains of Wheat
Piled 1000 Feet High
25 Miles Long and 25 Miles Wide

        And what started out so small became so very, very, very big–too big to fulfill the inventor’s requested. Turned out he had asked to me paid with more wheat than existed in the entire world.   In fact some mathematicians calculated that by the 64th square, the grains of wheat would be so plentiful that you could fill a building 25 miles long and 25 ,miles wide with wheat stacked 1,000 feet high. Wow! And now I know why they call Wheaties the Breakfast of Champions.

       Every time I play chess, I think of the concept of exponential growth and the vast opportunity we have as leaders to make a difference, especially from meager beginnings. It is particularly interesting to me that  the final 20 digit number does not even include the number  (2) you started with on on your first step on this strategic journey from square one to square two.  May your journeys become so rewarding no matter how meager their beginnings.

Today’s ImproveMINT

Spark sustained, progressive growth to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

You might also like these previously served Leadership Mints on Strategic Thinking.

Broadening Your Funnel Vision
Taking the Scum Off Your Mind
Igniting 60,000 Thoughts Every Day

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