“The Compound Effect” Key Reflections: Part 1

Key Quotes from The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

Foreword:

Jim taught us that achievement is not about luck; it’s really a science. Sure, everyone is different, but the same laws of success always apply. You reap what you sow; you can’t get out of life what you’re not willing to put into it. If you want more love, give more love. If you want greater success, help others achieve more. And when you study and master the science of achievement, you will find the success you desire.

Your decisions shape your destiny. The future is what you make of it. Little, everyday decisions will either take you the life you desire or to disaster by default. In fact, it’s the littlest decisions that shape our lives. Stray off course by just two millimeters, and your trajectory changes; what seemed like a tiny, inconsequential decision then can become a mammoth miscalculation now.

Introduction:

There are no new fundamentals. Truth is not new; it’s old.

Before we dig in, I have one warning: Earning success is hard. The process is laborious, tedious, sometimes even boring. Becoming wealthy, influential, and world-class in your field is slow and arduous. Don’t get me wrong; you’ll see results in your life from following these steps almost immediately. But if you have an aversion to work, discipline, and commitment, you’re welcome to turn the TV back on and put your hope in the next infomercial- the one touting promises of overnight success, if you have access to a major credit card.

Here’s the bottom line: You already know all that you need to succeed. You don’t need to learn anything more. If all we needed was more information, everyone with an Internet connection would live in a mansion, have abs of steel, and be blissfully happy. New or more information is not what you need- a new plan of action is. It’s time to create new behaviors and habits that are oriented away from sabotage and toward success. It’s that simple.

Chapter 1: The Compound Effect in Action

Give me enough time, and I will beat virtually anybody, anytime, in any competition. Why? Not because I’m the best or the smartest or the fastest. I’ll win because of the positive habits I’ve developed, and because of the consistency I use in applying those habits. I’m the world’s biggest believer in consistency. p. 5

It doesn’t matter how smart you are or aren’t, you need to make up in hard work what you lack in experience, skill, intelligence, or innate ability. If your competitor is smarter, more talented, or experienced, you just need to work three or four times as hard. You can still beat them! p. 7

The Compound Effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. What’s the most interesting about this process to me is that, even though the results are massive, the steps, in the moment, don’t feel significant. p. 9

The person who uses the positive nature of the Compound Effect appears to be an “overnight success.” In reality, his or her profound success was the result of small, smart choices, completed consistently over time. p. 14

Having experienced extended periods of prosperity, health, and wealth, we become complacent. We stop doing what we did to get us there. We become like the frog in the boiling water that doesn’t jump to his freedom because the warming is so incremental and insidious that he doesn’t notice he’s getting cooked! p. 18

Chapter 2: Choices

Choices are at the root of every one of your results. Each choice starts a behavior that over time becomes a habit. Choose poorly, and you just might find yourself back at the drawing board, forced to make new, often harder choices. Don’t choose at all, and you’ve made the choice to be the passive receiver of whatever comes your way. In essence, you make your choices and then your choices make you. p. 23

Your biggest challenge isn’t that you’ve intentionally been making bad choices. Heck, that would be easy to fix. Your biggest challenge is that you’ve been sleepwalking through your choices. Half the time, you’re not even aware you’re making them! p. 24

You’ve allowed yourself to make a choice without thinking. And as long as you’re making choices unconsciously, you can’t consciously choose to change that ineffective behavior and turn it into productive habits. It’s time to WAKE UP and make empowering choices. p. 26

“You have to be willing to give 100 percent with zero expectation of receiving anything in return,” he said. “Only when you’re willing to take 100 percent responsibility for making the relationship work will it work. Otherwise, a relationship left to chance will always be vulnerable to disaster. p. 29

If I always took 100 percent responsibility for everything I experienced- completely owning all of my choices and all the ways I responded to whatever happened to me- I held the power. Everything was up to me. I was responsible for everything I did, didn’t do, or how I responded to what was done to me. p. 29

Preparation (personal growth) + Attitude (belief/mindset) + Opportunity (a good thing coming your way) + Action (doing something about it) = Luck p. 31

Then you can be like Arnold Palmer, who told SUCCESS magazine in February of 2009, “It’s a funny thing; the more I practice, the luckier I get.” p. 31

“The day you graduate from childhood to adulthood is the day you take full responsibility for your life.” p. 33

But tracking my progress and missteps is one of the reasons I’ve accumulated the success I have. This process forces you to be conscious of your decisions. but as Jim Rohn would say, “What’s simple to do is also simple not to do.” The magic is not in the complexity of the task; the magic is in the doing of simple things repeatedly and long enough to ignite the miracle of the Compound Effect. p. 36

The biggest difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people are not. p. 35

All winners are trackers. Right now I want you to track your life with the same intention: to bring your goals within sight. p. 37

Once you start tracking your life, your attention will be focused on the smallest things you’re doing right, as well as the smallest things you’re doing wrong. And when you choose to make even the smallest course corrections consistently, over time, you’ll begin to see amazing results. p. 42

Chapter 3: Habits

A wise teacher was taking  a stroll through the forest with a young pupil and stopped before a tiny tree. “Pull up that sapling,” the teacher instructed his pupil, pointing to a sprout just coming up from the earth. The youngster pulled it up easily with his fingers. “Now pull up that one,” said the teacher, indicating a more established sapling that had grown to about knee high to the boy. With little effort, the lad yanked and the tree came up, roots and all. “And now, this one,” said the teacher, nodding toward a more well-developed evergreen that was as tall as the young pupil. With great effort, throwing all his weight and strength into the task, using sticks and stone he found to pry up the stubborn roots, the boy finally got the tree loose. “Now,” the wise one said, “I’d like you to pull this one up.” The young boy followed the teacher’s gaze, which fell upon a mighty oak so tall the boy could scarcely see the top. Knowing the great struggle he’d just had pulling up the much smaller tree, he simply told his teacher, “I am sorry, but I can’t.” “My son, you have just demonstrated the power that habits will have over your life!” the teacher exclaimed. “The older they are, the bigger they get, the deeper the roots grow, and the harder they are up to uproot. Some get so big, with roots so deep, you might hesitate to even try.” p.55

Merriam-Webster defines habit this way: “An acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.” p. 56

A daily routine built on good habits is the difference that separates the most successful amongst us from everyone else. p. 57

We’re a “rational” species- at least that’s what we tell ourselves. So why are we so irrationally enslaved by so many bad habits? It’s because our need for immediate gratification can turn us into the most reactive, nonthinking animals around. p. 59

Most people drift through life without devoting much conscious energy to figuring out specifically what they want and what they need to do to take themselves there. I want to show you how to ignite your passion and help you aim your unstoppable creative power in the direction of your heart’s dreams and desires. Uprooting bad habits that have grown into mighty oaks is going to be arduous and difficult; to see the process through will require something greater than even the most relentless determination- willpower alone won’t cut it. p. 60

Forget about willpower. It’s time for why-power. Your choices are only meaningful when you connect them to your desires and dreams. The wisest and most motivating choices are the ones aligned with that which you identify as your purpose, your core, self, and your highest values. You’ve got to want something, and know why you want it, or you’ll end up giving up too easily. p. 62

Identifying your why is critical. What motivates you is the ignition to your passion, the source for your enthusiasm, and the fuel of your persistence. p. 60

The power of your why is what gets you to stick through the grueling, mundane, and laborious. All of the hows will be meaningless until your whys are powerful enough. Until you’ve set your desire and motivation in place, you’ll abandon any new path you seek to better your life. If your why-power- your desire- isn’t great enough, if the fortitude of your commitment ins’t powerful enough, you’ll end up like every other person who makes a New Year’s resolution and gives up too quickly and reverts to sleepwalking through poor choices. p. 63

Extraordinary accomplishment does not guarantee extraordinary joy, happiness, love, and a sense of meaning. These two skill sets feed off each other, and makes me believe that success without fulfillment is failure. p. 65

In fact, psychologists tell us that nothing creates more stress than when our actions and behaviors aren’t congruent with our values. Defining your core values also helps make life simpler and more efficient. Decision-making is also easier when you are certain of your core values. When faced with a choice, ask yourself, “Does this align with my core values?” If it does, do it. If not, don’t, and don’t look back. All fretting and indecision are eliminated. p.66

People are either motivated by something they want or something they don’t want. Love is a powerfully motivating force. But so is hate. Contrary to social correctness, it can be good to hate. Hate disease, hate injustice, hate ignorance, hate complacency, and so on. Sometimes identifying an enemy lights your fire. p. 66

Enemies give us a reason to stand tall with courage. Having to fight challenges your skills, your character, and your resolve. It forces you to assess and exercise your talents and abilities. Without a motivating fight, we can become fat and lazy; we lose our strength and our purpose. p. 67

“If you are not making the progress that you would like to make and are capable of making, it is simply because your goals are not clearly defined.” One of Paul’s most memorable quotes reminds us of the importance of goals: “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon…most inevitably come to pass!” p. 69

The one skill most responsible for the abundance in my life is learning how to effectively set and achieve goals. Something almost magical happens when you organize and focus your creative power on a well-defined target. I’ve seen this time and again: the highest achievers in the world have all succeeded because they mapped out their visions. The person who has a clear, compelling, and white-hot burning why will always defeat even the best of the best at doing the how. p. 69

So, when you instruct your brain to look for the things you want, you will begin to see them. In fact, the object of your desire has probably always existed around you, but your mind and eyes weren’t open to “seeing” it. p. 70

When you define your goals you give your brain something new to look for and focus on. It’s as if you’re giving your mind a new set of eyes from which to see all the people, circumstances, conversations, resources, ideas, and creativity surround you. p. 71

A goal is not in writing is merely a fantasy. p. 71

You –> Choice (Decision) + Behavior (Action) + Habit (Repeated Action) + Compounded (Time) = Goals p. 74

Five Strategies for Eliminating Bad Habits

  1. Identify Your Triggers
  2. Clean House
  3. Swap It
  4. Ease In
  5. Dive in

Six Techniques for Installing Good Habits:

  1. Set Yourself Up to Succeed- do something that helps the habit fit into your life easier
  2. Think Addition, Not Subtraction- instead of focusing on what you’re removing, focus instead on what you can do instead
  3. Go for a Public Display of Accountability- tell some people about your new habit to keep you accountable
  4. Find a Success Buddy- one person to consistently hold you accountable and exchange feedback
  5. Competition and Camaraderie- compete with someone else as a team or individually
  6. Celebrate!

 

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” p. 84

If you really want to maintain a good habit, make sure you pay attention to it at least once a day, you’re far more likely to succeed. p. 85

What excites me about this reality, however, is that if change were easy, and everyone were doing it, it would be much more difficult for you and me to stand out and become an extraordinary success. Ordinary is easy. Extra-ordinary is what will separate you from the crowd. p.90

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge.” -Bro. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. p. 90

 

 

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About 5eriouslyernest

Aspiring Servant-Leader studying engineering principles, financial stewardship, business management, and psychology fundamentals in order to cultivate passionate leadership, disseminate positive energy, uplift the community and ultimately create a brighter future for generations to come.
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