The Compound Effect: How Your Daily Choices Affect Your Life – Part 2!

darrenhardyandbook-300x276Good to see you all back for Part 2 of my Compound Effect series (click here if you haven’t checked it out yet!). Just to recap a little, what is the Compound Effect? It refers to the daily, moment-to-moment decisions you make and how those daily, seemingly inconsequential decisions can add up. Those decisions can quickly become habits and create stuff you may not want in your life. I left you with the idea of goals last time and asking you to list out what your specific goals are.

However, even with all that, you’re going to need something more than just your goal, you’re going to need a reason for that goal. What’s your intention? What’s the reason behind what you want?

“The power of your why is what gets you to stick through the grueling, mundane, and laborious. All of the hows will be meaningless until you know your whys are powerful enough” (p. 63).

Darren Hardy also says in his book,

“Your choices are only meaningful when you connect them to your desires and dreams. The wisest and the most motivating choices are the ones aligned with that which you identify as your purpose, your core self, and your highest values. You’ve got to want something, and know why you want it, or you’ll end up giving up too easily” (p. 62).

Take a second to pause and figure out what your why is right now. Just write down some ideas. And come back to it because they may shift. Once your write down what it is that you want, set some goals. As Dr. Phil says,

“A goal without a timeline is just a dream.” 

Learn how to set goals for yourself. Don’t set them so high so quickly where you set yourself up for failure. Make them manageable and something you could easily do. Something that is tangible that you could track.

“The highest achievers in the world have all succeeded because they mapped out their visions” (p. 69).

This is where the day-to-day work comes in. How are you going to get to your vision? What are the immediate goals that are going to be set? Get as specific as you can. If you want to lose weight, say how many days a week you’re going to work out. Say for how long. Say which days. If something comes up, what’s your back up plan? What are some hurdles you might encounter? Create a system where you succeed. Anticipate road blocks and learn how to navigate them instead of letting them control you.

The best part about goals, as Darren Hardy says, is that they gave your brain something to focus on. It goes back to that car analogy I mentioned earlier. When you buy a new car and you begin to notice that car more, is it because there are more out there or is it because you changed your focus?

“With this new perspective ( an inner itinerary), your mind proceeds to match up on the outside what you want most on the inside – your goal” (p. 71).

Are you ready for the next key in accomplishing your goals? Let me ask you this, “who do you need to become in order for that goal to happen?” This is essentially the Law of Attraction that gained so much attention a few years ago. It doesn’t have to be this “woo-woo” thing. It’s about understanding what it is that you want and how you want to feel when you reach that goal. I mean really feel it. What does it look like? What kind of people are going to be around you when you reach the top of your mountain? What would you do with your time? How much time would you be spending with your family and friends? Would you be at the gym more? Would you be more kind? Would you work harder? Would you be more conscientious? Ask yourself these questions.

This is the hard part because it’s so easy to say you want the car, the house, the fortune, the friends, the marriage, the children, but do you realize what it takes to have those things? Do you realize the work, the potential sacrifices? Once you answer all those questions I asked, you can begin to focus on that more. You can begin to live a life that is aligned with how you would be once you had the “success,” whatever that means for you in your life. Create the system and the infrastructure that would make it sustainable.

Darren Hardy talks about his wife and how when he was single and ready to find someone he could settle down with he wrote a list of all the qualities he wanted in a woman, from the type of hair to the culture to the values to everything. He described her from the inside out. And then the important question he asked himself was,

“What kind of man would a woman like this be looking for? Who do I need to become to e attractive to a woman of this substance?”

These are the same questions you should be checking in with yourself about. It doesn’t matter what it is. It may not be a woman, job, career, or company, but maybe it’s as simple as just keeping your relationship above water. Maybe that is you’re immediate goal. Perhaps your goal is to have a family that gets along well and has certain values. Ok, then what kind of person would you need to be to harvest that? Think about all these things. At the core, they are all the same.

Now this is the next piece to it all, MOMENTUM, or as Darren Hardy calls it in his book, “Big Mo.” Let’s start with a physics lesson, what is Newton’s First Law aka Law of Inertia? Any guesses? It says that objects at rest tend to stay at rest unless acted on by an outside force. Basically, if you want to change, you have to get up and put in the work.

One of my favorite analogies is the simple use of a plane. Have you seen how much energy it takes a plane to take off. It has to use to use full thrust on all of its engines to get that thing in the air. But once it’s in the air, it just floats. You’re just on the plane going for a ride. You may hit some turbulence along the way, but once you’re in a momentous state, it’s easier to stay in it. Or you can say this about a rocket ship. The space shuttle uses more fuel during the first few minutes of the flight than the rest of the trip because it has to break free from the pull of gravity?

So take a moment to think about what’s pulling you down? Be willing to call it out. Just say what it is. You don’t need to judge it. Adopting any change is just like this.

“You get started by taking one small step, one action at a time. Progress is slow, but once a newly formed habit has kicked in, Big Mo joins the party” (p. 95).

Once all this momentum kicks in, it’ll become routine. You’re floating. You’re able to ride the wave and it doesn’t take as much to do what you initially wanted to as compared to when you first started. However, you have to maintain this all.

“When it comes down to it, your new attitudes and behaviors must be incorporated into your monthly, weekly, and daily routines to affect any real, positive change…the greater the challenge, the more rigorous our routines need to be” (p. 99).

You have to maintain these routines. These are the routines that are sustainable and ones you can do day in and day out. Just because you get to some place of “success” doesn’t mean you can stop. Those routines got you there, so to take them out will take you out. Now the routines may adjust. For example, when you start losing weight, you might do more cardio or weights, but then as you get to your goal weight, you might adjust the type of exercises you do or the weights you do because your muscles will adjust. The nature of what you’re doing might change, but the act of doing it should not.

All of this will help build a rhythm to your day. As I’ve talked about, it won’t necessarily be natural right when your first start, but that doesn’t mean it should keep you from starting. Find what works for you. Don’t tell yourself you’re going to wake up everyday at 5am to work out if you know that’s not something you can’t sustain. Be real and honest. The goal is for you to your goal and if you can’t maintain that then what’s the point?

Related links:

Rubin Khoddam, Clinical Psychology PhD student at University of Southern California, founder of Psych Connection.

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Categories: Blogs by Rubin, Books, Therapy

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16 replies


  1. The Compound Effect: How Your Daily Choices Affect Your Life – Part 1! « Psych Connection
  2. Never be wrong in an argument again! « Psych Connection
  3. Don’t give up – You’re almost there! « Psych Connection
  4. You are the captain of your plane! « Psych Connection
  5. What is the cost of your behavior? « Psych Connection
  6. The 5 Stages of Change: Are You Ready to Change? « Psych Connection
  7. What is your personal, parenting, and professional mission statement? « Psych Connection
  8. Live from the end: How to achieve your goals! « Psych Connection
  9. What basketball can teach you about life « Psych Connection
  10. What Maya Angelou Taught Us About Life « Psych Connection
  11. Why Just Having Goals Isn’t Enough | Psych Connection
  12. Learning to Tolerate Life’s Uncertainty | Psych Connection
  13. Let’s Talk about Our Failures | Psych Connection
  14. Mindfulness and Relationships: Never React the Same Way | Psych Connection
  15. Are You Ready to Change? | Psych Connection
  16. Why Judging Others is Bad for You | Psych Connection

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