In his classic book ‘The Compound Effect’ Darren Hardy describes how the key to long-term success lays in small everyday decisions and positive actions that are repeated consistently.
He gives a hypothetical example of having the choice of either accepting three million dollars now, or being given a magic penny that multiplies every single day for a month (31 days in total). Most of us would intuitively choose the hard cash over the magic penny, as it sounds like the better deal, right?
In reality, if your friend was to choose the cash and you the magic penny, they would feel for most of that month that they had the better deal, as your penny increases in value painstakingly slow. But then, on day 30, magic would happen. The value of your penny would have suddenly overtaken the three million dollar mark, and on day 31 you will end up with over three times the amount your friend has.
Such is the power of the compound effect of daily positive actions, when done consistently over time. There is no magic formula for achieving success on the longer term. It’s the result of a big number of small, seemingly insignificant decisions you are taking on a day-to-day basis.
- “Shall I surf the web, or practice on my instrument for the next 30 minutes?”
- “Will I make that call to the prospective client now, or ‘tomorrow is another day’?
- “Shall I use the time allocated for working on my business this morning, or will I instead deal with these emails and calls waiting to be answered?”
- “One last snack, or brushing my teeth?”
- “Going for a walk, or taking a nap and waking up drowsy?”
Choose wisely, for the compound effect of your day-to-day decisions will be the difference between achieving your dreams and just plodding along in three or five years’ time.