The Secret to Achieving Overnight Success
Every day, marketing messages promise us to get rich, fit, younger, sexier overnight for only small sums of money.
These kinds of messages have distorted our sense of what it really takes to succeed and achieve our goals.
The truth is, when it comes to success, there’s no secret formula or quick fix that will make you successful overnight.
It isn’t how things work.
— Dwayne Johnson
Earning success is a laborious, slow, sometimes even boring process.
In other words, you don’t need more information to become successful. You already know all that you need to succeed.
What you really need is a new plan of action. You need to create new behaviors and habits that are oriented toward success.
Today you’re going to discover the importance of the Compound Effect and how to use it to achieve your goals and succeed in life.
Let’s get started!
The Compound Effect.
The compound effect is the payoff of applying positive habits consistently over an extended period of time.
Whether these habits are meant to improve your finances, health, relationships, or anything else, no matter how subtle the change is, the results can be massive overtime.
However, most people quit soon after they start a new habit because the changes are too small, or they’re not getting the immediate results they were expecting.
So they would quit running after a week because they’re still overweight or they would use stop making contribution to their IRA after a few months because it doesn’t seem to be adding up to much. What they don’t realize is that these small steps applied consistently will create massive results over time.
For example, someone who cuts 125 calories from his diet every day, say a cup of cereal less and starts walking a couple of thousand extra steps per day (less than a mile), by the end of the month, he won’t see any noticeable changes.
However, by the end of month twenty-eight, he has lost thirty pounds by simply cutting 125 calories a day.
28 month = 850 days
850 days x 125 calories/day = 106,250 calories saved
106,250 calories saved x 1 pound/3,500 calories = 30 pounds
The same principle could be applied to someone who added 125 calories a day. He’ll find himself overweight 30 pounds more after twenty-eight months.
How to Put The Compound Effect to Work For You?
1. Write down excuses you might be clinging to (e.g., not smart enough, not experienced enough, wrong upbringing, don’t have the formal education, etc.).
Decide to make up in hard work and personal growth to surpass anyone— including your old self.
2. Choose a goal and write down small steps you can take every day that will compound your results upward
3. Write down the small actions you can stop doing that might be preventing you from achieving your goals.
4. List a few goals you achieved in the past. Consider whether you could be taking those for granted and set small steps to continue on improving them.
Our lives are simply the accumulation of all the choices we make.
These choices, be it small or big, can deliver us to our goals, or send us far away from them.
Every choice starts a behavior that over time becomes a habit.
Even if you don’t choose at all, you’ve already made the choice to be a passive recipient of whatever comes your way.
Every choice has an impact on the compound effect of your life.
By becoming aware of the choices you’re making and starting to make conscious choices, you’ll be able to stop doing the things that are pulling you into the wrong direction and start making decisions that lead to habits that support you.
Making choices requires taking 100 percent responsibility for your own life.
When you completely own all of your choices and all the ways you responded to whatever happened to you, you hold power.
You stop finger-pointing, victimizing yourself, blaming others, or expecting someone else to solve your problems and make you happy.
If you’ve been late, maybe you should consider leaving your house earlier instead of blaming the traffic.
Tracking your choices.
You cannot improve something until you measure it.
The best way to become aware of the choices you make in any area and start making conscious choices is to pick up an area in your life that you want to improve or change (finances, relationships, health, parenting…) and start tracking every action that relates to the area of your life you want to improve.
If you decide to get out of debt and save money, start tracking every penny you spend. If you want to lose weight, start tracking everything you put in your mouth.
Carry around a small notebook, or use your phone to write it all down.
This will bring an instantaneous awareness of the many unconscious choices were making that resulted in preventing you from reaching your goals.
How To Make Better Choices?
1. Write down list of:
– Things that you have done in the past and that have prevented you from success.
– Things that you should have done to succeed but didn’t.
– Things that happened to you, but you responded poorly and didn’t take 100 percent responsibility for them.
– Things that you can start doing today to take responsibility for the outcomes of your life.
2. Pick up an area of your life that you’d like to change or improve (finances, relationship, health, parenting…) and start tracking at least one behavior in that area.
We’re creatures of habits. Our habits and routines are helpful – as long as they’re good ones.
They allow us to use minimal conscious energy for everyday tasks such as brushing our teeth, fastening the seatbelt as soon as we get into the car, grocery shop to prepare a healthy dinner, go for a run after work, positive self-talk…
They also allow us to focus our mental energy on creative thoughts. And these habits are what separates the successful from the unsuccessful.
In fact, successful people aren’t necessarily more talented or more intelligent than the rest of the people, they simply have a daily routine that is built on good habits.
These habits are taking them in the direction of becoming more knowledgeable, better skilled, and better prepared.
Instant gratification is a trap that is preventing people from building and maintaining good habits.
The payoff or instant gratification derived from bad habits outweighs the long-term payoff of good habits.
Indulging in bad habits doesn’t seem to have any negative effects at the moment, and good habits don’t seem to have that much positive effect at the moment.
However, in the long-term, the compound effect is activated and our small, seemingly insignificant habits can either deliver us to our goals or send us far away from them.
Finding Your Why-Power.
When you’re having trouble working on achieving your dreams, it’s not willpower of choosing to be successful that you lack.
What you really need to keep you consistent with the new positive choices you need to make and stop you from falling back into your mindless bad habits, is you why-power.
That is your dreams and desires. When your choices are aligned with your purpose and your highest values, that’s what will motivate you to achieve your dreams.
Your why is the fuel of your persistence and the source of your enthusiasm. Once you find your “Why”, you’ll be willing to perform almost any “How”.
Moreover, without a clear “Why”, any achievement or success, won’t give you the extraordinary joy or sense of meaning you’re seeking. You simply won’t be fulfilled without your why-power.
To find your why-power, you need to define your core values.
These values are what defines both who you are and what you stand for.
They act as a filter through which you run all of your life’s demands, dreams, temptations…
When your actions are in conflict with your core values, you end up feeling unhappy, frustrated, and unsatisfied.
In fact, psychologists tell us that nothing creates more stress than when our actions aren’t in line with our values.
For example, if loyalty is a big value for you, but you cheat on your partner, then there’s a conflict.
Defining your core values will also help make your life simpler by making your decision-making process a lot easier.
When faced with a choice, all you have to do is to ask yourself “is this in line with my core values?” If it does, do it. If not, don’t.
How to Start Better Habits?
1. Choose your most important goal at the moment and write down a list of:
– The habits you have that are supporting your most important goal.
– The habits that are taking you off course from your most important goal.
– The new habits you need to develop to help you achieve your most important goal faster.
2. Discover your core motivation and why-power. Identify what motivates you to achieve big results.
The compound effect is always working, taking you somewhere.
This is why it’s important to make a conscious decision of where you want to go.
In other words, you must know where you want to go and set it as a clearly defined goal.
When you focus your creative power on a well-defined target, you can almost achieve anything you want.
In fact you can only get what you look for.
So when you consciously instruct your brain to look for the things you want, you’ll start seeing and experiencing them.
And this is how the Law of attraction really works.
“We are bombarded with billions of sensory (visual, audio, physical) bites of information each day. To keep ourselves from going insane, we ignore 99.9 percent of them, only really seeing, hearing, or experiencing those upon which our mind focuses. This is why, when you “think” something, it appears that you are miraculously drawing it into your life. In reality, you’re now just seeing what was already there. You are truly “attracting” it into your life. It wasn’t there before or accessible to you until your thoughts focused and directed your mind to see it.” – Darren Hardy – The Compound Effect
By clearly defining your goals, you give your brain something to focus on and look for.
How you experience the world and what ideas, people, and opportunity you draw into your life shift in order to match up your goals.
“Top people have very clear goals. They know who they are and they know what they want. They write it down and they make plans for its accomplishment. Unsuccessful people carry their goals around in their head like marbles rattling around in a can, and we say a goal that is not in writing is merely a fantasy.” – Brian Tracy
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- How To Use The Compound Effect To Succeed In Life
- ‘Follow Your Passion’ Is Not The Answer – Here’s What To Do Instead
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Portions of this article were adapted from the book The Compound Effect, © 2010 by Darren Hardy. All rights reserved.