The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

I give this book an 7/10.

It was actually pretty good and had a lot of key takeaways and really made me think about my daily actions. I definitely say it is worth reading. Especially if you have goals and find yourself stuck but not really sure why (or not willing to acknowledge that it is your own behaviours that are keeping you stuck)…

Hardy first explains The Compound Effect: huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. These small steps do not feel significant in the moment but over time they compound to create the ultimate effect.

You need to start taking 100% responsibility of what you do, don’t do and how you respond to what is done to you. I.e. stop blaming traffic, the weather, other people, bad luck, etc. You are 100% in control of you and Getting Lucky is a combination of preparation (personal growth/self improvement) + attitude (mindset/beliefs) + opportunity + action (doing something about it!)

Habits = acquired mode of behaviour that has become nearly/completely involuntary. 95% of what we feel/think/do/achieve is result of a learned habit and these can compound life into repeated disaster. You need to consciously figure out specifically what you want and what you need to do to get you there. This is very applicable to me. I have written before about my goals and how I have not made the personal progress I wanted to make in 2016. Ultimately, when I really am honest with myself, I can see that it is because my daily habits have NOT been supporting my goals. I have been sabotaging myself but convincing myself that this one minor behaviour won’t matter…but then this compounds over and over and months later and I have not made any progress. Well so far in 2017 I am NOT allowing this to continue and I am FINALLY seeing the progress I so desperately want!

Why-power – choices are only meaningful when you connect them with desires and dreams. If you want something you need to know why you want it or you will give up when things get tough. Your why must be enough of a motivator to make you pursue even in times of hardship. It is important to define your core values and then every time faced with a choice ask yourself if it aligns with values. When you define your goals you give your brain something new to look for and focus on. Your mind starts to match up on the outside what you want most on the inside. E.g. once you decide to buy a car you start seeing that make and model everywhere but realistically there are not more of it on the road – you have something to focus on. This completely happened to me! A few years ago I was debating between a Honda Civic and Hyundai Accent and I swear all of a sudden these two makes were legit everywhere! I mean I know the Civic is one of the most popular cars but I had never noticed it before!

Goals = Choice (decisions) + Behaviour (actions) + Habit (repeated actions) + Compound (time). You must figure out what behaviours are blocking the path that leads to your goal and which help you accomplish your goal. This is something I have really honed down on this year. Being completely honest with myself. Getting comfortable being uncomfortable and acknowledging my behaviours that have been keeping me stuck. I have also been making very conscious effort (choice) to change my behaviours over and over each time I am tempted to revert back to my old habits. With time these new behaviours will become habit and they will compound to help me actually reach my goals!


Habits and behaviours never lie – If there is a discrepancy between what you say and what you do, what you do is the truth every time. This was so applicable to me for pretty much all of 2016…but you live and learn!

To eliminate bad habits:

  1. Identify Triggers
  2. Clean House (remove triggers from your home/space physically)
  3. Swap It (alter your habits so they aren’t harmful – replace with good habits or just get rid of them completely)
  4. Ease In (small steps to the ultimate goal of ditching the bad habit) or 5. Jump In (go cold turkey)

If you really want to maintain a good habit, make sure you pay attention to it at least once a day

Action steps: identify your three bad habits that take you off course from your goal

  • Identify 3 new habits you need to develop to put you on track
  • Identify your core motivation
  • Find your why-power


  • Make new choices based on goals and core values
  • Put choices to work through new positive behaviours
  • Repeat healthy actions to establish good habits
  • Build routines
  • Stay consistent and momentum will kick in

Reference group – the people you habitually associate with. Your reference group determines 95% of your success or failure. You become the combined average of the 5 people we hang around most. You need to disassociate with those who bring you down and increase associations with people who you aspire to be like.

Take a look back on your life 5 years ago – are you now where you thought you’d be five years later?

  • Have you kicked the bad habits you vowed to break?
  • Do you have the lifestyle you wanted?
  • Do you have the health you want?
    • If not…why? – simple choices that compound over time.



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