Review: The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

In one sentence – Learn the techniques and principles to exponentially improve yourself in the long run. 

Author – Darren Hardy

Genre – Self-help, Psychology

Best quote from the book –  “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Topics we’ll be discussing:

Summary

A former publisher at the Success Magazine, Darren Hardy seems to have a perfect grasp on how to keep the readers engaged with his simple yet powerful words. Most of us have studied compound interest during our school time. But have you ever tried to apply it practically? At least not during our childhood, isn’t it? After all, our school doesn’t teach these practical things.

The Compound effect focuses on those small daily activities which lead to great consequences over the long term. Doing two extra push-ups, reading one extra page, waking up thirty minutes early. If you are able to incorporate activities like these in your daily life, then you will not believe the changes you will be seeing after a few months. In the beginning, they would seem tough as you are forced to adjust yourself. But once these atomic habits get settled, you will feel better than ever.

Key takeaways

1. Absolute number vs relative change

The Compound Effect argues that we focus too much on the absolute number and too little on relative change. For instance, instead of being satisfied that our salary has increased by 50% (relative change), we emphasize on how our salary is only $15,000 (absolute number). We don’t realize that it has increased from $10,000, which is a great thing in itself. 

The magic penny is a great example of this concept. Would you prefer to choose $1 million right now, or $2, which doubles every day for the next 31 days? If you dislike maths, then you would choose the 1st option, isn’t it? 

First of all, congratulations on becoming a millionaire! Secondly, you have missed your chance of becoming a decamillionaire. Yes, if you had chosen the 2nd option, then you would have won more than $10 million at the end. 

This example might not happen realistically, but it provides a great illustration of how most of us think. So it’s time that we start realizing the importance of these small relative changes, which turn out to be substantial later on. 

“The first step toward change is awareness. If you want to get from where you are to where you want to be, you have to start by becoming aware of the choices that lead you away from your desired destination.”

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2. Small choices every day lead to massive results!

Every moment of every day, we are making choices. Some are drifting us towards our objectives while some are pulling us away from them. So which way is your life heading towards?

If you look at the overtime net worth of Warren Buffett, then you would realize that his net worth was just like us when he was young. He became a billionaire only when he turned 55 and became the richest person in the world when he was around 77.

warren-buffett-net-worth-over-time

There are a few practical applications that you could try every day that will result in your wonderful transformations.

i) Reading 

10 pages of books per day for personal development – preferably non-fiction

ii) Meditating

5 minutes right after waking up and/ or before sleeping 

iii) Goal setting 

Every morning, write down what you want to achieve on that day. You can start small with goals such as spending 10 minutes less time in social media or sleeping before 11 PM.

iv) Have a healthy breakfast

v) Journaling

Record anything you want in your journal. It could be how your day went, any new idea you have thought about, expressing gratitude towards someone, and so on. 

“It’s not the big things that add up in the end; it’s the hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.”

3. “You reap what you sow.”

Let’s do a small mindful exercise, shall we? 

Think about your favorite car – pick only one. If you don’t have a favorite car, then think of any car you can. Realize that, that car is the only car you will have in your life. It doesn’t matter what happens to that car, you cannot replace it.

With such a condition, how much care will you take of your car? Even if there is a small scratch, you would be worried, won’t you? Won’t you take your car for servicing on a timely basis? You will ensure that you will take proper care so that it will last as long as possible.

Now, coming back to reality, that car is your body. We get one body throughout our life. No matter what we do with it, we simply can’t replace it. If you eat weird stuff and get sick, then your body will degrade just like a car will degrade at times. 

So why not treat yourself as the only car you will ever get to drive in your life? Why neglect it when you know the consequences later on? Start living a fruitful life!

“You alone are responsible for what you do, don’t do, or how you respond to what’s done to you.”

Recommendation 

The suggestions and tricks provided in the book seem obvious to us, doesn’t it? We all know we got to sleep early every night, we all know we got to meditate and exercise, we all know we shouldn’t scroll out social media without any reasons. Yet we fail to follow these consistently. 

If you are someone who wants to drastically change yourself in no time, then, unfortunately, this book might not be for you. But if you are ready to change yourself slowly, one step at a time, then this book’s perfect. 

To those of you who are struggling to keep with your daily life, then this book is the source of freedom for you. It has helped me realize the consequences of my daily habits in the future, which has encouraged me to stay on track. I’m sure that it will help you to achieve your future success through your daily perseverance. 

Other reviews of this book

Goodreads

James Clear

Strategic Leaders

Get this best selling book ! (Currently available only in India) The Compound Effect

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