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Monday, March 23, 2015

The Compound Effect

For personal development, I read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, publisher of Success magazine. The cornerstone of this book lies in the belief that it is the choices you make every day over time that yield the greatest results. 

You can read the first chapter here

Hardy begins the book with a fun scenario. Imagine that you are offered the choice of $3 million immediately, or one single penny that would double in value every day for 31 days. What is your gut reaction? Who wouldn't want $3 million? But in choosing the multi-million dollar payout, you lose out on nearly four times that amount, as the penny compounds daily to nearly $11 million by day 31. 

Small changes yield huge returns.

When you start a new venture, whether it is a project, a new business, or even a diet, you want the end result now. But it's easy to forget that overnight success does not happen overnight, even though you want it to, and on some level, you expect it to. You may start out strong, making changes to give your project your full attention and energy. And you may see some immediate success. 

But then, life may get in the way. The initial attention and energy you put into your venture may wane, and your success may slow down or even stop. 

Plateaus are hard, but be patient. Don't give up. Keep at it. Those small changes you made will pay out huge dividends, if you keep going. 

The Compound Effect explains that success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out. That's important, and comforting, to remember.  Hardy says, "You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success if found in your daily routine."

Small, start choices plus consistency plus time equals radical difference, he argues. And I believe that to be true. 

When you decide to lose weight, hit a fitness milestone, or build a business, you want that overnight success, especially when you see other successful people around you doing amazing things. But it's easy to forget that everyone started as a beginner themselves and had to start with small changes of their own. 

Hardy believes in tracking every action related to your goal. It is the only way, he believes, to be fully aware of the choices you make. If this action bringing you closer to your goal or taking you farther from it? Knowledge is power to make smarter choices. 

If you're inspired by the success of others, do what she or he does and follow her or his advice. If he or she suggests a change, try it. If it doesn't work for you over time, modify, but keep moving and keep evolving. These mentors are sharing their expertise and experience with you, as you, yourself, may, one day, share your journey with others. 

Most importantly, trust the process. The small changes you are making in your own life take time. Allow the compounding benefit to take effect.


  1. This sounds really good. :) Thanks for sharing the quotes.

  2. "Small changes yield huge returns." yessssss

  3. This was such a timely post. Everything said here is somewhat intuitive yet reminders of this nature are constantly needed, and so very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  4. It's always the small things that count! You can't get anywhere without taking a few steps!

  5. I have always been a believer of this. To quote my fave author Bo Sanchez, "You teach people how to teach you."

    We are responsible for how we're treated or how we go through life. We can't point fingers on anyone else. Your blog is a lovely find. :)

  6. People always want the quick fix but the forget that life is a marathon, it takes patience to get to the end.

  7. It does take patience and perseverance. People, in general, get bored and frustrated really easily when they don't see immediate results. They give up and have to start over. Again.

  8. And you have to keep going. When you give up, you have to start over. Again.

  9. Thank you, Lux. Welcome! What we allow is what will continue...Bo had it right. Thank you so much for stopping by! Please come back again soon.

  10. Thank you, Nicole. This book was a great reminder for me as I try and achieve some personal and professional goals. Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. Small changes done repeatedly over time. When we give up, we may lose ground. The key is to keep going. Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Trusting the process is so tough for me but I'm working on it. I got out of my work-out rhythm when I went on vacation, even though I did go running four of the mornings I was there. Now that spring is here, I want to work toward a 5k.
    This is such a great inspirational post and book!