You have probably heard many times from others the phrase that “success takes time”, or you’ve been told that “you need to work hard, stay consistent and success will find its way to you sooner or later”. But what the hell are these people telling you? What is this based on? The idea that success takes time is broadly accepted by the society, but nobody cares about why it is so crucial to stay consistent. Darren Hardy aims to give you a clear answer to this question in his book The Compound Effect, where he tackles the issue of giving up and where he explains the reason why you should stay consistent in your efforts. This article aims to introduce this concept and provide you with the necessary information to answer this question.
As you can see from the cover of Hardy’s book, the compound effect is designed to help you “jumpstart your income, your life, your success”. However, what you need to understand first is that the compound effect has always been there, is there and will always be there. No matter what you do, it will still exist. The question is whether you know how to use it and whether you can identify its influence and thus use it to maximise its potential.
So how do you make use of the magical force that has so much potential, but nobody really knows about? In fact, it is fairly simple. The formula leading to the great improvement and to the great change in your life is described by Hardy as follows:
Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE
To make full use of the potential of the compound effect, you need to fully grasp every piece of the puzzle and use it to your advantage. To begin with, “smart choices” in the formula are, very simply put, your day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute and second to second choices you make. You need to be aware of each and every thought you make in your life that has the potential to affect your life and the final outcome of your efforts. Make sure that you understand your choices, that you are aware of their consequences and that they fully support you on your path to success. Another way you can look at this is also that you need to start changing bad choices and start periodically prioritizing your good choices, A.K.A. start creating new habits. Next is pretty self-explanatory. You need to be consistent with your efforts. Remember, it takes about 3 weeks to create a habit and about 3 months to create a lifestyle. If you stay consistent for a longer period of time, not repeating your good habits will eventually be as hard as creating them. And the final component of the formula is time. This is very closely related to consistency. You need to stay consistent over a longer period of time. Time plays an absolutely crucial role in the formula. You will see why in the next graph.
(Graph taken from the book “The Compound Effect)
As you can see in the graph, it is necessary for you to stay consistent in making smart choices over a longer period of time. The longer, the better. But here also comes the part where most people fail. It takes time to see the benefits of the compound effect. Take a look at the graph. You might not see any difference from the people who ignore the effect until the 20th month! This is obviously very specific and will differ based on each particular case, but the point stands! If you give up, you’re done with. However, if you don’t, the difference grows incredibly fast. Yes, as you might have already figured out, to be able to make full use of the potential of the effect, you need to have insane work ethic. This is one of the major reason why most people give up. You need to be able to say no to the things that might slow you down in the long run. For instance, when you have friends asking you to go out drinking when you should be doing your evening readings, what do you do? These are the “smart choices” you need to be making. Do I go out and have fun, or do I stick to the plan and grow my mind? Decisions like this determine whether the compound effect works for or against you. As Hardy says in the book:
“You make your choices and your choices make you.”
Hardy uses the following equation to summarise how you achieve your goals over time.
By the time you got to this point, you should be able to fully answer our question. What is the saying that “success takes time” based on? If you still can not answer this question, I friendly advise you to read the article again.
Hope this article helped you understand why you need to keep up the good work, why you need to resist the challenging seductiveness of comfort and why you need to stay consistent. But most importantly, I hope it increased your awareness of this incredible force referred to as “the compound effect”.
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