The opening lines of Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect tell its reader that this is a book about success and what it truly takes to earn it. In a world where young people are 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.
The Compound Effect acknowledges this problem and tries to provide a very simple solution. Hardy believes “there is no magic bullet, secret formula or quick fix.” Instead, the author of this 2010 paperback believes in a method he’s coined as (wait for it…) the compounding effect.
The book demonstrates to readers how, by implementing good habits over time, anyone can achieve their goals and gain the success they want in life. In short, the outcome of establishing and maintaining good habits is a more positive, focused, energetic and happier you.
The publisher of SUCCESS magazine and a widely regarded American author and speaker, Darren Hardy came to this conclusion firsthand. The son of a football coach turned businessman, Hardy reveals how he grew up always adhering to a rigorous schedule with the expectation of completing daily chores and activities. As a result, Hardy became a man whose meticulous approach to goal setting has left him unable to sit still. The author admits that, to this day, he has trouble relaxing at the beach.
The real happy secret to his book, though, is that you don’t have to have a personality like Hardy’s to achieve success (I certainly don’t!). You just have to want what you want bad enough to work towards it bit by bit every day. No matter your age or station in life, Hardy claims that if you make the decision to change your bad habits into good ones over time, you can accomplish your goals.
In six chapters, Hardy attempts to prove his theory, outlining how bad choices affect people over time. On the other hand, he discusses how goals can be achieved with good habits compounded over time.
The Compound Effect presents numerous examples from clients the author has had over the years and offers up based-on-life situations with real outcomes. Hardy sprinkles it with analogies that illustrate his point. Like the pumping water analogy: when you pump water from a well, it can sometimes take a long time for water to come up from the ground. Many people will give up pumping after a short amount of time, convinced the well won’t bring them water. They look for a place where they can get water quicker. However, the smart man or woman comes back every day and consistently pumps, pumps, pumps. As a result of that consistency, water will eventually come to them, and they will have solved their problem of finding water while others who tried to find it faster may still be looking for it. With a dedication to good habits, Hardy claims people can achieve momentum and become unstoppable. Ever wonder why successful people seem to stay on top? Hardy says this is the reason.
Like many books in the personal development sector, Hardy shares his advice in an easy, casual manner that flows quickly. His informal prose reads as if you’re talking to a friend or beloved mentor. The work contributes to the overall personal development market by offering a new look at what success is founded on your own everyday habits.
If you’re like me, you are curious about personal development reads. I found this book was a good place to start! It effectively gets to the core of what success is founded on, and the effect isn’t just compound, it just might be common sense.
Here are five things we learned from The Compound Effect:
- Don’t fall for the quick-fix gimmick! Success is founded on making smart decisions over time.
- It’s okay to take small steps to get where you want to go. Wanting to lose weight? Often people will sign up for a gym membership, buy fancy new attire or health products, and then burn out in seven days. Instead, Hardy may tell you to run for ten minutes every day for one week, then increase that to fifteen minutes. By the end of the month, you might be running thirty minutes without breaking a sweat.
- You can’t live a positive life if you’re hanging out with negative people.
- You’ll get more out of the book if you treat it as a learning tool. Take advantage of the activities provided along the way that allow readers to apply these ideas to their own lives. I did each exercise, and trust me, concepts like “Why power” or “Action plan” can seem vague and daunting. However, I came out of it having identified my own bad habits and am now slowly turning them into good ones!
- It’s never too late to start working on yourself. The book’s concepts ring true for people of all ages and stations in life.
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