The Compound Effect has to be my favorite book ever. It is the most practical book I’ve ever read. It focuses on a simple concept – The Compound Effect. The name itself gives away what it means.
“The Compound Effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices”
For most of us, the only motivation to get any work done has been last-minute panic. It’s just human nature, I guess. Deadlines and external compulsions spur us into action. But last-minute work is often slack. Which is why most of us produce average results.
It is a common misconception that extraordinary results require doing difficult and extraordinary things. But very few people know that this is not true.
Success is not a result of doing difficult extraordinary things but rather a result of doing unremarkable, easy-to-do things every single day over a long period of time. This is exactly what The Compound Effect is.
The Compound Effect was a gem of a find for me. It made me aware of a concept I already knew but was not applying in my life. I’ve always been a last-minute person for most part of my life. And I knew it wasn’t doing any good for me. I set these big goals for myself and they always seemed unreachable because they were not goals that could be achieved in a short amount of time.
In fact, anything big or worthwhile cannot be achieved in a short span of time. But the good news is, it also doesn’t require big, extraordinary efforts.
Great things are built by wonderful incrementalism. Small, insignificant efforts repeated over time will produce MASSIVE results. All that is required is time and consistency.
Two of my favorite lessons from this book that I remember word-to-word:
1. “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. Who cares—you can still beat them!”
Whatever you think your weakness is compared to your competitor can be made up for. You can always, ALWAYS outwork your opponent if you have the right mindset.
2. “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.”
Everyone living in the 21st century knows there is no shortage of information today at all. Everything we need or want to know is right at our fingertips. What we don’t have is the will to act.
Here’s why The Compound Effect is life-changing and how to apply it in your life:
We only get to experience life one 24-hour window at a time. Which is why most of our lives is boring. 90% of our lives is automated.
You only get to live in the present, i.e., your actions are limited to the present.
Now there are some goals that are outright big and just cannot be achieved in a short amount of time, like a goal of losing 100 pounds or preparing for a competitive exam that has a huge syllabus. It’s just not possible no matter how much we rush.
In such cases, people assume that their actions should be massive in order to get massive results. And motivation becomes a big factor. The focus is completely on the big goal, which turns out to be disheartening for many people. Results don’t come in as early as they had expected and all effort goes down the drain.
And this is why applying The Compound Effect in your life is important.
Here’s how to apply The Compound Effect in your life:
No matter what your goal is and how big it is, your action is limited to this day, this minute, this second. Focusing on the bigger picture is only discouraging you.
Break down the big goal into smaller, simpler steps and then, FORGET THE BIG GOAL!
You need to break down your goals into very small every day steps that are effortless and require very less time. It might seem that the actions are insignificant and almost futile. You may feel like these actions are not helping you in the big goal at all.
But that’s the power of The Compound Effect. These insignificant actions will compound into something very massive and produce enormous results that you never thought were possible. You just have to give them a chance to do that. You need to do your part, that is, be consistent.
Remember, the Compound Effect is always working, either for you or against you. You can make it work for you!
Whoever said, “the little things matter” was absolutely spot on.
I highly recommend reading The Compound Effect. The book will give you much more information in detail and might just change your life!