10 Powerful Lessons I learned from the book ‘The Compound Effect’ written by Darren Hardy
Updated: Feb 16
“We are all self-made men and women, but only the successful take credit for it.” _Darren Hardy
In a world where young people are constantly bombarded by media, messages, and images about the quickest ways to get rich, get thin, and get on top, it can be hard to hear the truth through all the noise. This book, ‘The Compound Effect’ written by Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS Magazine, acknowledges the problem and attempts to offer a simple solution.
There is no magic bullet, secret formula, or quick remedy, according to the author. Instead, he believes in a technique he calls 'the compounding effect'.
The book shows readers how, by developing healthy habits over time, they can fulfill their goals and obtain the success they desire in life. In short, developing and sustaining excellent habits results in a more positive, focused, energetic, and happier you.
In today's blog, I am going to share the 10 most important lessons that I learned from the book ‘The Compound Effect’.
1. You don’t need new information, you need a plan of action.
You don’t make $200,000 a year spending two hours a day on the Internet, lose 30 pounds in a week, rub 20 years off your face with a cream, fix your love life with a pill, or find lasting success with any other scheme that is too good to be true. It would be great if you could buy your success, fame, self-esteem, good relationships, health, and well-being in a nicely clam-shelled package at the local Walmart. But, that’s not how it works. We are constantly bombarded with increasingly sensational claims to get rich, get fit, get younger, get sexier… all overnight with little effort for only three easy payments of $39.95. These repetitive marketing messages have distorted our sense of what it really takes to succeed.
Earning success is hard. The process is laborious, tedious, and sometimes even boring. Becoming wealthy, influential, and world-class in your field is slow and arduous. If you have an aversion to work, discipline, and commitment, you are 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.
“There are no new fundamentals. Truth is not new; it’s old. You’ve got to be a little suspicious of the guy who says, ‘Come over here, I want to show you my manufactured antiques!’ No, you can’t manufacture antiques.” – Jim Rohn
2. Everyone is lucky. Only a few recognize and take advantage of the luck that comes on their way.
Everyone has the opportunity to be “lucky,” because beyond having the basics of health and sustenance, luck simply comes down to a series of choices. When the author asked Richard Branson if he felt luck played a part in his success, he answered, “Yes, of course, we are all lucky.
If you live in a free society, you are lucky. Luck surrounds us every day; we are constantly having lucky things happen to us, whether we recognize it or not. I have not been any more lucky or unlucky than anyone else. The difference is when luck came my way, I took advantage of it.”
The simple formula for personal growth is -
Preparation (personal growth) + attitude (belief + mindset) +opportunity (a good thing coming your way) + action (doing something about it) = Luck
Luck is all around us. It is simply 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. Luck shines on all, but rather than having your umbrella overhead, you have got to have your face in the sky.
3. You can't manage what you can't measure," so start tracking every action in the area of your life that you want to improve.
Do you know how casinos make so much money in Vegas? Because they track every table, every winner, every hour. Why do Olympic trainers get paid top dollar? Because they track every workout, every calorie, and every micronutrient for their athletes.
All winners are trackers. Tracking is a simple exercise. It works because it brings moment-to-moment awareness to the actions you take in the area of your life you want to improve. You’ll be surprised at what you will observe about your behavior. You cannot manage or improve something until you measure it. Likewise, you can’t make the most of who you are—your talents and resources, and capabilities—until you are aware of and accountable for your actions.
Every professional athlete and his or her coach track each performance down to the smallest minutiae. Pitchers know their stats on every pitch in their repertoire. Golfers have even more metrics on their swings. Professional athletes know how to adjust their performances based on what they’ve tracked. They pay attention to what they record and make changes accordingly because they know when their stats improve, they win more games and earn more in endorsement deals. Regardless of whether you think you’re aware of your habits or not, I’m asking you to start tracking. Doing so will revolutionize your life, and ultimately, your lifestyle.
4. Little drops of water make a mighty ocean.
There is a lot of power in small things adding up. It’s not the big things that add up in the end; it’s the hundreds, thousands, and millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary. To be one stroke better requires countless little things that don’t get accounted for as much in the beginning.
5. “We are what we repeatedly do.” _Aristotle
According to the Merriam-Webster definition, “Habits are an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.” And they grow stronger with each repetition.
There’s a story about a man riding a horse, galloping quickly. It appears that he’s going somewhere very important. A man standing along the roadside shouts, “Where are you going?” The rider replies, “I don’t know. Ask the horse!” This is the story of most people’s lives; they are riding the horse of their habits, with no idea where they’re headed.
Psychological studies reveal that 95 percent of everything we feel, think, do, and achieve is a result of a learned habit! We’re born with instincts, of course, but no habits at all. We develop them over time.
So, it’s time to take control of the reins and move your life in the direction of where you want to go. Take the responsibility of creating good habits in your life and remove the ones that affect your life negatively.
6. Find your WHY.
The author took an interview with the peak-performance expert Anthony Robbins (SUCCESS, January 2009), where he said: “I have seen business moguls achieve their ultimate goals, but still live in frustration, worry, and fear. What’s preventing these successful people from being happy? The answer is they have focused only on achievement and not fulfillment. Extraordinary accomplishment does not guarantee extraordinary joy, happiness, love, and a sense of meaning. These two skill sets feed off each other and make me believe that success without fulfillment is a failure.”
You have to dig deeper than that to find your core motivation, to activate your superpower, your ‘Why Power’. You have to get the mindset of wanting something, and also know the reason why you want it, or else you will end up giving up too easily. You must find your WHY to be extremely motivating so that every day you want to get up and go, go, go, go - for years!
7. What is it that you desire the most?
You only see, experience, and get what you look for. If you don’t know what to look for, you certainly won’t get it. By our very nature, we are goal-seeking creatures. Our brain is always trying to align our outer world with what we’re seeing and expecting in our inner world. 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. This is how the Law of Attraction really works. You must know where you want to go. What goals, dreams, and destinations do you desire? There is one thing that 99% of successful and unsuccessful people have in common – they hate doing the same thing. The difference is that successful people do them anyway.
8. Momentum is the key.
It’s not easy to build momentum, but once you do, look out! The same thing happens when a rocket ship launches. The space shuttle uses more fuel during the first few minutes of its flight than it does the rest of the entire trip. Why? Because it has to break free from the pull of gravity. Once it does, it can glide in orbit.
The hard part? Getting off the ground. Your old ways and your old conditioning are just like the pull of gravity. Everything just wants to stay at rest. You’ll need a lot of energy to break your inertia and get your new enterprise underway. But once you get momentum, you will be hard to stop—virtually unbeatable—even though you’re now putting out considerably less effort while receiving greater results.
Winning the race is all about pace. Be the tortoise. The person is given enough time and will beat virtually anybody in any competition.
9. Garbage in, garbage out.
If you want your body to run at peak performance, you’ve got to be vigilant about consuming the highest-quality nutrients and avoiding tempting junk food. If you want your brain to perform at its peak, you’ve got to be even more vigilant about what you feed it. Are you feeding it news summaries or mind-numbing sitcoms? Are you reading the tabloids or SUCCESS?
Controlling the input has a direct and measurable impact on your productivity and outcomes. Controlling what our brains consume is especially difficult because so much of what we take in is unconscious. Although we can indeed eat without thinking, it’s easier to pay attention to what we put in our bodies because food doesn’t leap into our mouths. We need extra vigilance to prevent our brains from absorbing irrelevant, counterproductive, or downright destructive input.
Your brain is not designed to make you happy. Your brain has only one agenda in mind: SURVIVAL. It’s estimated that Americans (twelve and older) spend 1,704 hours watching TV per year. That averages out to 4.7 HOURS per day. We’re spending almost 30 percent of our waking hours watching TV. Almost thirty-three hours per week—more than one whole day each week! It’s the equivalent of watching TV for two solid months out of every twelve! WOW! And people wonder why they can’t get ahead in life.
10. Take control of your Environment.
When you’re creating an environment to support your goals, remember that you get in life what you tolerate. This is true in every area of your life—particularly within your relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. 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. If you tolerate disrespect, you will be disrespected. If you tolerate people being late and making you wait, people will show up late for you. If you tolerate being underpaid and overworked, that will continue for you. If you tolerate your body being overweight, tired, and perpetually sick, it will be.
It’s amazing how life will organize around the standards you set for yourself. Some people think they’re the victims of other people’s behavior, but, we have control over how people treat us. Always remember, “You will get in life what you accept and expect you are worthy of.”