I used to believe that personal development was for people who couldn’t afford a shrink. The commonly coined “self-help” aisle of the bookstore was where people went when they were depressed, angry, or self-doubting; I didn’t belong there. For my health coach basics class, I was told that The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy was required reading and so reluctantly ordered a copy to be sent to my nearest Barnes & Noble. The subtitle “Jumpstart your income, your life, your success” was enough to warrant an eye-roll. When I brought my copy to the register, I mumbled something about how I was buying this for a class because I was ashamed to be reading about personal development.
Each day we were assigned a part of a chapter, equating to about ten minutes of reading. As I soon learned, the compound effect is based on the principle that small seemingly insignificant actions completed daily grow into large meaningful changes. For example, if you want to become a runner, start with a 5k and BUILD to a marathon. Hardy uses simple and relatable analogies to give you the motivation and tools to reach your goals. In the world of personal development, this is the go-to beginner’s guide.
At the time of reading this book, I was in the process of starting my own health journey that included 30-minute daily workouts and watching my portion sizes. Small changes made daily. After a month, I lost 5 lbs. After 3 months I lost 5 more. As the pounds slowly came off and my muscle became more defined, I also gained energy and self-confidence. I learned that by showing up for myself EVERY DAMN DAY I was doing what most people weren’t willing to make an effort to do: commit. Day by day, month-by-month, I became a living example of the compound effect.
The Compound Effect is straightforward, inspiring, and a little bit of tough love all thrown into the small yet effective package of 157 pages. If you’re looking for a quick fix, Hardy is the first to say this book isn’t it. However, give it ten minutes a day and you’ll find it’s the jumpstart you didn’t even know you were looking for.