The Compound Effect
“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.”
That's it. The book in a nutshell. It's so damn simple and yet this is what catches most of us over the long-term. Forgetting that we must show up every day and keep doing those small things; compounding our actions one day at a time.
Darren Hardy's The Compound Effect has been around for ages and yet didn't manage to make it on to my radar until just recently. As part of my own money book challenge, this was February's choice and it was an excellent choice. Following on the heels of Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, this book takes that burning desire and reminds us all that action is king. Not just action, but consistent action over time. You've probably heard of the idea of compound interest. If you make $1 of interest in your bank account well the next month you are now also earning interest on that $1.
Take that concept and put it into every part of your life and you, in essence, are living The Compound Effect life. I'm reminded of Matthew Kelly's quote from The Long View:
“Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in a month. We overestimate what we can do in a year, and underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade."
Consider picking any goal you may have and absolutely working on that goal every day for the next month. Not just today, or the weekend, but every day. A small step today will compound itself over the course of the next 30 days. As the above quote notes, we are underestimating how much we can do in a month through those consistent daily actions.
At the beginning of the year, I built out a series of tracking sheets within Evernote to keep tabs on my daily activity. Even something as simple as writing down three things I'm grateful every day got its own note. It's amazing when you can visualize your own progress and see the habit build up over time.
Here is a simple example. Each symbol represents something different for Books & Beers. I try to be consistent with certain things on a daily basis with other happening less frequently. It gives me an idea of how often I'm working on content while also showing that progress is being made every day.
One more example from today. I try to plan out the week ahead of time and keep myself accountable through the items I want to create. As I streamline certain tasks then I can begin to add more complicated/unusual items.
Great book. Easy read. If you haven't already read this one in the self-development space, get on it! If you are thinking to yourself, oh great, another self-help book. I would argue that you can pretty much apply this idea to any aspect of your life. Consider telling your significant other one nice thing every day for the next 30 days and see what happens.
If this sounds like a book you are interested in, consider supporting the site and using the affiliate link to pick up a copy! The Compound Effect