The Compound Effect - Deepstash
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Short Summary

Short Summary

  • Compound Effect: reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. Steps feel insignificant, results are massive.
  • Doesn’t matter how smart you are. Just work harder, work smarter.
  • Be the guy who says no. It’s no achievement to go along with the crowd.
  • Ripple effect: Even one small change can have a significant impact.
  • The Secret: hard work, discipline, good habits.


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The Compound Effect

The Compound Effect

……. is “the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices, made consistently, over a long period of time.”

Compounding requires enormous amounts of patience and faith.


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The Power Of Compounding

The Power Of Compounding

Would you rather have (A) $3 million upfront or (B) one penny that doubles in value every day for 31 days?

Choose any one!!

To maximise your gains, the correct answer is (B). But it doesn’t happen quickly. After 19 days you’d still only have $5,243 and you might feel pretty foolish next to a friend who chose option (A).

It’s not until day 29 that the compounding gains of option (B) net you $3 million. And by day 30 your patience would have tripled option (A). (See figure)


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  • We all come into the world the same, the life we end up with is an accumulation of our choices.
  • Everything in your life exists because of a choice you made.
  • Every choice has an impact on your life’s Compound Effect.
  • You are sleepwalking through your choices.
  • You make choices, then choices make you.


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“ You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”



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Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect

  • Making positive choices in one area of your life has a ripple effect that spreads out to other areas of your life. 
  • Start making one small positive choice and it will ripple out to make you far better overall.


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Luck = Preparation + Attitude + Opportunity + Action

Preparation: Personal growth

Attitude: Beliefs and Mindset

Opportunity: Things coming your way

Action: Doing Something


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“You can only control two things in life: Your attitude and your actions.”



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Put The Compound Effect To Work For You

Put The Compound Effect To Work For You

  • Write out your excuses, decide to make up for them with hard work and personal development.
  • Write out a half-dozen small, seemingly insignificant steps you can do every day to go a different direction.
  • Write the small seemingly insignificant things you can stop doing to stop your downward spiral.
  • List a few areas/skills/outcomes where you’ve succeeded in the past. Are you taking those for granted and not improving?


3.47K reads

Success Formula

Success Formula

  1. Pick an area you want to be successful in. Picture where you are now, where you want to be.
  2. 1st step toward change: Awareness.
  3. Be aware of the choices that lead you away from your desired destination.
  4. Track every action that relates to the area of life you want to improve.

Magic: do simple things repeatedly for long enough that the Compound Effect kicks in.


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Time Matters

Time Matters

  • The sooner you start making small changes, the more powerfully the Compound Effect works for you.
  • Procrastination on behaviors, habits, disciplines is dangerous!
  • The key is to start now.


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Success Is A Marathon

Success Is A Marathon

  1. Find your motivation.
  2. Choose one new habit, get hooked, the other behaviors will fall in line.
  3. Start with an easy task.
  4. Why-power will fuel your new health habits.


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  • Successful people aren’t more intelligent/talented, they just have habits that help them be more informed, knowledgeable, skilled, prepared, competent. 
  • With enough practice/repetition, any behavior becomes automatic over time.
  • Life is a product of moment-to-moment choices.
  • Every choice is getting you closer to that ultimate goal.
  • The instant gratification trap: Immediate gratification turns us into reactive, nonthinking animals.
  • Slight adjustments to daily routines can alter life outcomes.


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“If you want to sail your life in a new direction, you have to first pick up the anchors of bad habits that have been weighing you down.”



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Find Your Why Power

Find Your Why Power

  • To fight bad habits, you need something stronger than willpower - THE WHY POWER.
  • What’s your reason to make significant improvements in your life?
  • Your WHY must be fantastically motivating to you, inspiring you to GO…for years.
  • Decision making is easier when you know your core values.


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“When the reason is big enough, you will be willing to perform almost any how.”



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  • Law of Inertia: Objects at rest tend to stay at rest; in motion stay in motion.
  • Rockets use more fuel during the first few minutes of flight than the rest of the trip. The hard part is getting off the ground.
  • Pumping water requires many pumps before the water comes out, but once it’s up, it stays flowing. But if you let go of the lever too long, the water goes down and it takes effort to get it back up.
  • Starting step is always hard but once started we gain momentum.


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“Step by step, day by day, your choices will shape your actions until they become habits, where practice makes them permanent.”



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Media Diet

Media Diet

  • Brains aren’t designed to make you happy, but to survive. It likes to seek out negatives.
  • Flush your mind by filling it with good stuff which will eventually clean out the bad/negative ideas.
  • Put yourself on a media diet — Media gives you a perverted view of the world.
  • 99% news has nothing to do with you.


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  • The extra effort after you’ve done your best is the difference maker.
  • See yourself as your own toughest competitor to multiply your results.
  • Push past what others expect of you. Do more than enough.
  • It takes very little extra to be EXTRAordinary.


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"A good curated idea should be like a girl's skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest."


You make choices, then choices make you !

View all The Compound Effect Book Summaries

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