Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Compound Effect - Book Notes

 From January through mid-March, I did a health challenge called 75Hard. One of the habits that had to be done daily was to read 10 pages of a self-improvement book. A book that was highly recommended on the 75Hard Facebook group for women was The Compound Effect - Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy. 

I'm glad I found out about this book. There are a lot of helpful ideas for habit-building that I wish I would have known when I was younger. Nonetheless, there are habits and ideas worth doing today that were presented in the book. Below are some highlights:

- Little, everyday decisions will either take you to the life you desire or to disaster by default.

- From what to eat and where to work, to the people you spend your time with, to how you spend your afternoon, every choice shapes how you live today, but more important, how you live the rest of your life.

- The Compound Effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices completed consistently over time.

- Your grandparents worked six days a week, from sunup to sundown, using the skills they learned in their youth and repeatedly throughout their entire life. They knew the secret was hard work, discipline, and good habits.

- Every decision, no matter how slight, alters the trajectory of your life - whether or not to go to college, whom to marry, to have that last drink before your drive, to indulge in gossip or stay silent, to say I love you or not. 

- Your biggest challenge is that you've been sleepwalking through your choices.

- Keep a Thanksgiving journal for your spouse or a loved one. Every day for an entire year, log at least one thing you appreciate about him/her. It forces you to focus on that person's positive aspects. You will be consciously looking for all the things the person does "right." 

-  Pick an area of your life where you most want to be successful (e.g., more money in the bank, a trimmer waistline, better relationship with your spouse or kids). Picture where you are in that area, right now. Now picture where you want to be: richer, thinner, happier, you name it. 

- Track every action that relates to the area of your life you want to improve. If you want to get out of debt, track every penny you pull from your pocket. If you want to lose weight, track your food. 

- Track down every cent you spend for 30 days. 

- Track one habit for one week. Then three weeks. 

- Every dollar you spend today, no matter where you spend it, is costing you nearly five dollars in only 20 years (and ten dollars in 30 years)?

- Every time you spend a dollar today, it's like taking five dollars out of your future pocket.

- Save $250 per month in an IRA starting at 23 years old. By the time you're 40 years old, there would be no need to invest anymore. By the time you are 67 years old, there will be more than $1 million in that account, growing at 8% interest compounded monthly.

- The story of most people's lives is that they're riding the horse of their habits, with no idea where they're headed. It's time to take control of the reins and move your life in the direction of where you really want to go.

- What is your why? You've got to have a reason if you want to make significant improvements to your life. 

- I have seen business moguls achieve their ultimate goals, but still live in frustration, worry, and fear. What's preventing these successful people from being happy? The answer is they have focused only on achievement and not fulfillment. Extraordinary accomplishment does not guarantee extraordinary joy, happiness, love, and a sense of meaning.

- When your actions conflict with your values, you'll end up unhappy, frustrated, and despondent.

- If you are not making the progress that you would like to make and are capable of making, it is simply because your goals are not clearly defined.

- Clean your home. If you're trying to curb your spending, take an evening and cancel every catalog or retail offer that comes in the mail or your inbox. If you want to eat healthy, stop buying junk food. Make sure your refrigerator and pantry are stocked with healthy options.

- How can you alter your bad habits so that they're not as harmful? Can you replace them with healthier habits or drop-kick them altogether? 

- About every 3 months, pick one vice and abstain for 30 days. If you find it seriously difficult to abstain for those 30 days, you may have found a habit worth cutting out of your life.

- Find rewards to give yourself every month, every week, every day - a walk, relax in the bath, or read something just for fun. 

- Every Saturday is FD (Family Day) which means NO working. Sundown on Friday night until sunup on Sunday morning is time devoted to marriage and family. If you don't create these boundaries, one day has a tendency to flow into the next. Unfortunately, the people who get shoved aside are often the most important. 

- Once a month try to do something that creates an experience that has some memorable intensity. Drive up to the mountains, go on an adventurous hike, try a new fancy restaurant, go sailing on a lake. Something out of the ordinary that has a heightened experience and creates an indelible memory. 

- Everyone is affected by 3 kinds of influences: input (what you feed your mind), associations (the people with whom you spend time), and environment (your surroundings).

- We can protect and feed our mind. We can be disciplined and proactive about what we allow in.

- How to feed your mind? Listen to positive, inspirational, and supportive input and ideas. Stories of aspiration, people who (despite challenges) are overcoming obstacles and achieving great things. Strategies of success, prosperity, health, love, and joy. Ideas to create more abundance, to grow, expand, and become more. Examples and stories of what's good, right, and possible in the world. 

- Listen to instructional and inspirational CDs when driving. 

- We become the combined average of the five people we hang around the most. The people with whom we spend our time determine what conversations dominate our attention and to which attitudes and opinions we are regularly exposed. Eventually, we start to eat what they eat, talk like they talk, read what they read, think like they think, watch what they watch, treat people how they treat them, even dress like they dress. 

- What is the combined average income, health, or attitudes of the five people you spend most of your time with?

- Jot down the names of those five people you hang around the most. Write down their main characteristics, both positive and negative. What's their average health and bank balance? What is their average relationship like? Is this list okay for you? Is this where you want to go?

- It's time to reappraise and reprioritize the people you spend time with. These relationships can nurture you, starve you, or keep you stuck. 

- Do not allow someone else's actions or attitudes to have a dampening influence on you.

- Identify people who have positive qualities in the areas of life where you want to improve - people with the financial and business success you desire, the parenting skills you want, the relationships you yearn for, the lifestyle you love. And then spend more time with them. Join organizations and businesses where these people gather and make friends. 

- The dream in your heart may be bigger than the environment in which you find yourself. Sometimes you have to get out of that environment to see that dream fulfilled. It's just not where you live. It's whatever surrounds you. Creating a positive environment to support your success means clearing out all the clutter in your life - physical, psychic, whatever's broken, whatever makes you cringe. Each and every incomplete thing in your life exerts a draining force on you, sucking the energy of accomplishment and success out of you as surely as a vampire stealing blood. Every incomplete promise, commitment, and agreement saps your strength because it blocks your momentum and inhibits your ability to move forward. Incomplete tasks keep calling you back to the past to take care of them. So think about what you can complete today.

- If you tolerate disrespect, you will be disrespected. If you tolerate people being late and making you wait, people will show up late for you. If you tolerate being underpaid and overworked, that will continue for you. If you tolerate your body being overweight, tired, and perpetually sick, it will be.

- You can do more than expected in every aspect of your life.

- Instead of sending Christmas cards, send Thanksgiving cards. Handwrite personal sentiments expressing how grateful you are for your relationship with that person and what he or she means to you. 

- One core value in life is significance - to make a positive difference in other people's lives.

- Ideas uninvested are wasted.

- The ripple effect of helping others and giving generously of your time and energy is that you become the biggest beneficiary of your personal philanthropy. 

Action Steps

- Write out a few excuses you might be clinging to (e.g., not smart enough, no experience, don't have the education). Decide to make up in hard work and personal development to outcompete anyone - including your old self.

- Write out the half-dozen small, seemingly inconsequential steps you can take every day that can take your life in a completely new and positive direction.

- Write down the small, seemingly inconsequential actions you can stop doing that might be compounding your results downward.

- List a few areas, skills, or outcomes where you have been most successful in the past. 

- What area, person, or circumstance in your life do you struggle with the most? Start journaling all the aspects of that situation that you are grateful for. Keep a record of everything that reinforces and expands your gratitude in that area.

- Where in your life are you not taking 100% responsibility for the success or failure of your present condition? Write down 3 things you have done in the past that have messed things up. List 3 things you should have done but didn't. Write 3 things that happened to you but you responded poorly. Write 3 things you can start doing right now to take back responsibility for the outcomes of your life.

- Start tracking at least one behavior in one area of your life you'd like to change and improve (e.g., money, nutrition, fitness, recognizing others, parenting...any area).

- Write out your top three goals. Now make a list of the bad habits that might be sabotaging your progress in each area. Write down every one. 

- Add to that list all the habits you need to adopt that, practiced and compounded over time, will result in you achieving your goals.

- Identify your core motivation.

- Find your why power. Design your concise, compelling, and awe-inspiring goals.

- Build your bookend morning and evening routines. Design a predictable and fail-safe routine schedule for your life.

- List 3 areas of life in which you are not consistent enough. What has this inconsistency cost you in life thus far? Make a declaration to stay steadfast in your new commitment to consistency.

- Identify the influence the input of media and information is having on your life. Keep your mind regularly filled with positive, uplifting, and supportive input.

- Evaluate your current associations. Who might you need to further limit your association? Who might you need to completely dissociate from? Strategize ways you will expand your associations.

- Identify the three areas of your life you are most focused on improving. Find and engage a mentor in each of those areas. Your mentors could be people with whom you have brief conversations or they could be authors (books or on CD).

- Find 3 areas in your life where you can do "extra" (e.g., weight lifting reps, recognition, sentiments of appreciation).

- Identify 3 areas in your life where you can beat the expectations. Where and how can you create "wow" moments?

- Identify 3 ways you can do the unexpected. Where can you differentiate from what is common, normal, or expected?

Things to Read


No comments: