My friend Jamie recently recommended a book called The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, and the next day I just happened to see it on our bookshelf! Turns out my fiancé Will already owned it – and somehow I'd overlooked it until now.
I read the book last weekend, and could not put it down! I'm still going back through the exercises, but I've already noticed a HUGE shift in my life. Now it's my turn to pass on the message and recommend the book to you!
The Compound Effect is all about the power of habits, and how the smallest decisions accumulate over time to shape our entire lives.
Here's a quick excerpt from the first chapter:
Most people get tripped up by the simplicity of the Compound Effect. For instance, they quit after the eighth day of running because they're still overweight. Or, they stop practicing the piano after six months because they haven't mastered anything other than "Chopsticks." Or, they stop making contributions to their IRA after a few years because they could use the cash–and it doesn't seem to be adding up to much anyway. What they don't realize is that these small, seemingly insignificant steps completed consistently over time will create a radical difference.
Hardy's formula: "Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE."
MAKING A NEW CHOICE
My small, smart choice was to start reading 10 pages before bed every night.
Last week I wrote about how taking action creates inspiration. Well, reading is a pretty easy way to feel inspired. It's more of a passive action (because it involves consuming information), but it inspires massive action (creating something) – like writing this blog post!
Here's what happened within the last week, once I committed to reading every night:
Reading those 10 pages relaxes my mind and allows me to truly unwind before bed. I pass out faster, sleep more deeply, and now wake up an hour and a half earlier – so I have time to start my day by reading too!
Starting and ending the day with a good book directly feeds my love of learning. I absorb the information like a sponge, and then can't wait to share it with everyone I know!
Waking up earlier also affects my morning workout. With some extra time to spare, I decided to bike for 25 minutes instead of my usual 20. After all, what's another 5 minutes? Then I ended up unintentionally biking for 30 minutes instead of 25! I couldn't believe how little effort those 10 extra minutes took. I decided to make 30-minute bike rides a new healthy habit.
CONSISTENCY OVER INTENSITY
I'm already seeing the payoffs of choosing consistency over intensity, so I can only imagine what kind of long-term results I'm creating!
I like to picture a giant gear, where every time I make a teensy change, something shifts. And while the shift right in front of my eyes may appear minimal, like no big deal in the moment, it has this ripple effect where it triggers all of these other changes in the gear that are WAY beyond my scope of vision.
What's one tiny change you can make? Remember: no step is too small – the key is consistency.
I challenge you to pick something right now, and commit to doing it for at least one week. Just imagine how stoked and thankful your future self will be!
If you're game, feel free to email me back and tell me what you're committing to, so you can declare it (there's power in that!) and I can cheer you on :)
You go Glen Coco,
P.S. Do you like getting personal development book recommendations and/or hearing these kinds of takeaways? I'm thinking of sharing more of this material, so if you're into it, comment below and let me know!