The compound effect — Summary

This book will teach you how to build up momentum for success gradually. Initially, change is hard because of our past negative habits, but once we built up momentum at the desired direction, our results will start to compound.

Steady improvement

Most people want immediate results and if they can’t get them the become discouraged and say “I’ll never get there.” But great accomplishments take some time, besides that, they are much more rewarding if you’ve put in some work into them. Those who have patience and keep pushing every day towards their goals are the ones who sooner or later get what they want.

Take Scott as an example, instead of shedding 20 pounds in a week, he cut 125 calories per day, walked a little extra every day, and patiently waited. Instead of complaining about not having time to read, he listened to self-improvement recordings while he commuted to work.The result? In 31 months he lost 33 pounds and even got promoted and arise at work.

Daily, small actions in the desired direction are the secret to long-term success.

Once you reach success, don’t lie back to rest on your laurels

Think about those restaurants which started out with great success and became so popular that clients started to having to wait ages to get a table or service. Many of them took their success for granted and stopped providing the service which brought them the success in the first place. Suddenly people start looking for alternatives, and no one goes there anymore.

When you reach your goals, you have to stay disciplined if you wish to build on them. Otherwise your hard work will be for nothing.

Have clearly defined goals

If you want to start accomplishing your goals, you have to have clear goals. Define them as detailed as possible. Once you do that your mind will start focusing far more efficiently. It will start seeing opportunities where it didn’t before, and how to reach them.

Daily habits

As mentioned, success comes in little steps. You need to do something to move forward every day. You need positive daily habits. If you depend solely on willpower, you will get stuck sooner or later. Think about that bag of chips or those extra beers while you were on a healthy diet. You invented different excuses to justify your actions. Maybe your excuse was “I deserve these because today I worked so hard.” Our mind is an expert in inventing excuses which make us feel better.

Once you’ve built up positive habits, things like that will happen much less often because you do them automatically, without having to rage against your will consciously.

The Big Mo

It is the consistency, not the intensity or length of time that builds up big momentum (Big Mo). And Big Mo is what you need, what you get once your start making the right decisions consistently.

The coach of Swimmer Michael Phelps let him finish training early only once in 12 years so that he could attend a school dance. That might be extreme, but it enabled him to build up a Big Mo which culminated in eight Olympic gold medals.

Create a healthy environment

Our environment inevitably has an influence on us. You have to pay attention to it so that you become conscious if it supports you or holds you back. Keep yourself surrounded by supportive people.

Obstacles can accelerate your path to success

If you want to push yourself through the barriers of your old self and become a new self, you have to break through your limits and overcome obstacles. Once you’ve pushed through, you have to keep building to not fall back to your old self. Your discipline and routines build a wall between your old self and your improved, stronger self.

Pushing through limits will make your stronger. Remember Arnold’s famous Cheating Principle for weight training. When you’ve reached the point of failure, where you cannot proceed with more reps, access other muscle groups to support the working muscles. Doing so will enable you to add another couple of reps to your set.

Short Summary: The secret to success is building up momentum and keep that momentum going, don’t fool yourself and take everything for granted.

Available on Amazon

Also published on Medium.