Ever since I started reading self enrichment books in late 2015, habits and daily routines were always mentioned as the key to leading your ideal life. It makes total sense, as what we do daily accumulates over time and our lives evolves accordingly. Habits and routines are a powerful thing and they compound, yet I realised that I wasn’t paying close attention to what I was doing on a regular basis previously.
There are many books talking about habits, what they can do and how to develop them. I have a few favourites and I plan to write a full post on that soon. However, Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect really spoke to me as it simplified the accumulation process in a very digestible way.
What exactly is the compound effect?
Ultimately, it is the ripple effect of your daily choices.
That’s really it! But many of us, I feel, aren’t too bothered with our daily choices. We may think that our little habits, being so small, is insignificant when we look at the bigger picture. For example, I’ll just scroll through Instagram for 10 minutes (the dogs and food pictures are irresistible!) thinking that it’s no big deal. But if I did that everyday for a month, that’s 300 minutes or 5 hours worth of time! Imagine what I could do with those 5 hours instead.
Previously, I used to think that my ideal lifestyle is just a figment of my imagination. A dream that I, a simple girl struggling with confidence issues, probably would not achieve. That mindset is slowly melting away. And I can tell you, that’s because of what I do and incorporate into my daily routine in the past 2 years or so.
I started working out. I started reading. Basically, I started doing. It might be really small steps, but small steps, no matter how significant they may be, will accumulate into something much bigger than you could ever imagine. Another book that emphasises this point is Small Move, Big Change by Caroline L. Arnold (as mentioned in the 5 books that has changed my life!)
Your decisions shape your destiny. The future is what you make of it. Little, everyday decisions will either take you to the life you desire or disaster by default. – Anthony Robbins
Key takeaways from the book:
- Formula of getting “lucky” : Preparation (personal growth) + Attitude (belief/mindset) + Opportunity (a good thing coming your way) + Action (doing something about it) = LUCK
*Attitude —> simple a matter of seeing situations, conversations, and circumstances as fortuitous. You cannot see what you don’t look for, and you cannot look for what you don’t believe in.
- The day you graduate from childhood to adulthood is the day you take full responsibility for your life.
- Forget about will power. It’s time for why-power. Your choices are only meaningful when you connect them to your desires and dreams.
- If you are not making progress that you would like to make and are capable of making, it is simply because your goals are not clearly defined.
- The first question should not be what do I need to do to get it? The question we should be asking ourselves is: Who do I need to become?
- Success is not something you pursue. What you pursue will elude you; it can be like trying to chase butterflies. Success is something you attract by the person you become.
- Everyone is affected by 3 kinds of influences :
Input (what you feed your mind)
Associations (the people whom you spend time with)
- When you’re creating an environment to support your goals, remember that you get in life what you tolerate. What you have decided to tolerate is also reflected in the situations and circumstances of your life right now. Put another way, you will get in life what you accept and expect you are worthy of.
- Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.
The compound effect is always working, and it will always take you somewhere. The question is, where? You can harness this relentless force and have it carry you to new heights. But you must know where you want to go. What goals, dreams, and destinations do you desire?
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I do think that it really opened my eyes to realise how powerful our actions (sometimes mindless ones) can be. What really struck me was the idea that your actions will, by default, accumulate to something, good or bad. Life is a continuous process and every action counts. The book does make this point exceptionally clear with some other useful tidbits for using the compound effect for your good.
I also found a book summary on The Compound Effect on James Clear (one of my favourite websites!). You can take a read to see if you would like to pick this book up!
Does this book interest you? What are some habits you feel you need to work on?
I hope this post was useful or thought provoking in some way. Till then!