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Book:  The Compound Effect

Author:  Darren Hardy

Purchase:  Print | eBook | Audiobook

Citation: Hardy, D. (2010). The compound effect : multiplying your success, one simple step at a time. New York, NY: Vanguard Press.

Three Big Takeaways:
  1. The Compound Effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. What's most interesting about this process is that even though the results are massive, the steps, in the moment, don't feel significant. (pg. 9)

  2. To help you become aware of your choices, you should track every action that relates to the area of your life you want to improve. The process forces you to be conscious of your decisions. (pg. 34)

  3. A daily routine built on good habits and disciplines separates the most successful among us from everyone else. (pg. 101)


Other Key Ideas:

In "The Slight Edge", Jeff Olson suggests that people should focus on repeating simple daily disciplines versus the simple errors in judgement. With enough time and consistency, the outcomes become visible. Better yet, they're totally predictable. (pg. 16)

Your only path to success if through a continuum of mundane, unsexy, unexciting, and sometimes difficult daily disciplines compounded over time. (pg. 20)

If I always took 100 percent responsibility for everything I experienced - completely owning all of my choices and all the ways I responded to whatever happened to me - I held the power. I was responsible for everything I did, didn't do, or how I responded to what was done to me. Look at how most people operate in the world; there's a lot of finger pointing, victimhood, blaming, and expecting someone else or the government to solve their problems. (pg. 29)

I've met and worked with many great achievers, CEOs, and "superstars" and I can tell you they all share one common trait - they all have good habits. A daily routine is the difference that separates the most successful amongst us from everyone else. (pg. 57)

Your core values define both who you are and what you stand for. Your core values are your internal compass, your guiding beacon, your personal GPS. They act as the filter through which you run all of life's demands, requests, and temptations, making sure they're leading you toward your intended destination. Getting your core values defined and properly calibrated is one of the most important steps in redirecting your life toward your grandest vision. (pg. 65)

Email addictions can be one of the most distracting and destructive habits. You can lose hours of focus each day with the massive amounts of email flooding your inbox if you're not vigilant about staying organized and focused. Consider setting up a discipline of only checking email three times a day. Also, turn off all alarms and notifications. (pg. 65)

As is the case with any change, you get started by taking one small step, one action at a time. Progress is slow, but once a newly formed habit has kicked in, your success and results compound rapidly. The most successful people do the same thing before and after they achieve momentum. Their habits, disciplines, routines, and consistency were the keys that unlocked momentum. (pg. 95)

A routine is something you do every day without fail, so that eventually, like brushing your teeth, you do it without conscious thought. If you look at anything that you do that's successful, you'll see that you've probably developed a routine for it. To reach new goals and develop new habits, it's necessary to create new routines to support objectives. (pg. 99)

Every morning at 7:00am I have what I call my calibration appointment, a recurring appointment set in my calendar where I take fifteen minutes to calibrate my day. I review my top three priorities for that day, asking myself "If I only did three things today, what are the actions that will produce the greatest results in moving me closer to my big goals? (pg. 103)

Whatever behavior you've decided to you need to move toward your goal - you'll want to track it to make sure you're establishing a rhythm. (pg. 110)

The average American drives about twelve thousand miles a year. That's three hundred hours right there where you could listen to educational audio and turn your car into a mobile classroom. By doing this, you could gain knowledge equivalent to two semesters of an advanced degree - every year. This commitment, in combination with your reading routine, separates you from the herd of average. (pg. 126)

You become the average of the five people you hang around with the most. (pg. 126)

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