I will be talking to you today around a topic I have titled ‘The Principles of Compound Effect’. My lecture is centred around lessons I learnt from a book I read in 2012 titled, ‘The Compound Effect’ by Darren Hardy. Let me start by quoting John C Maxwell whose Quote states, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine”. This quote applies to all of us here today, students, parents, and teachers alike. However, because the young ones amongst us are just starting life and having so much time in their hands, they have a better opportunity to apply the principles conveyed in the quote. I therefore request that much more than anyone here today, the graduating students should pay more attention as I rely on the principle of the quote to explain some of the lessons from ‘the Compound Effect’. I will share some of my notes extracted from the book, emphasised by my own experience with the principle of Compound Effect’.‘WHAT DO WE MEAN BY THE ‘COMPOUND EFFECT?’ I quote the author; Quote ‘the Compound Effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices.…Whether you are using this strategy for improving your health, relationships, finances, or anything else for that matter, the changes are so subtle, they are almost imperceptible (i.e. Unnoticeable).…’UnquoteThe ‘Compound Effect’ teaches a simple principle of achieving and sustaining success by doing little things at a time and the incredible impact these little efforts can have on your life when added up. Darren Hardy (the author) makes the argument that the only path to success is through the continuum of small, unexciting, and sometimes difficult daily disciplines compounded over time. It is the strategy of reaping huge rewards from doing small, seemingly insignificant actions. Over time these small actions add up to yield excellent and good results.Presented in an equation, you have:Small choices + consistency + time = Significant Results.Dear Graduating students, The compound effect is based on the principle that decisions shape destiny. Little, everyday decisions will take you either to the life you desire or to disaster by default. It is a set of fundamental principles that have guided the most phenomenal achievements in business, relationships and beyond. The principles will help anyone beat competition, rise above challenges, and create the life he deserves. At this stage, I will like to list some of the principles underpinning the COMPOUND EFFECT PHILOSOPHY. These are principles you need to apply as you take deliberate steps to add value to your life. Principles you must sow into daily, little by little and expect the benefits to be compounded over time. Please listen carefully and take good note. Ensure you are a better person after listening to these points…
1. Your Choices Matter. Be careful with the choices you make. Understand that your Choices are at the center of all success and failure. It is what we choose that makes the biggest difference. Too often we sleep walk through our choices, i.e we make unplanned choices only to find ourselves wondering why we are not happy, healthy, or successful. We default to choices that our society and culture tells us we should do. We must be careful as it is not the big choices, but small choices that derail us. Often, we don’t consciously think about it, but these small decisions can really change things. If you want to improve your life, you must improve your decisions. I believe the most important element in making good decisions is making conscious decisions. This is when you consider the pros and cons of your decisions before making them.
2. Take 100 Percent Responsibility. Always take 100 percent responsibility for everything that happens to you. You alone are responsible for your situation. If you always take 100 percent responsibility for everything you experience, if you completely own all of your choices and all the ways you respond to whatever happens to you, you hold the power. Everything is up to you. You are responsible for everything you do, didn’t do or how you respond to what is done to you. If you have ever blamed traffic for being late, or decided you are in a bad mood because of something someone else did, you’re not taking 100 percent personal responsibility.
3.Tracking your Progress. Tracking your progress and missteps is key for long-term success. All winners are trackers. You cannot improve something until you measure it. Likewise, you can’t make the most of who you are, your talents and resources and capabilities, until you are aware of and accountable for your actions. Tracking will revolutionize your life. Regardless of whether you think you are aware of your habits or not, start tracking. Doing so will revolutionize your life, and ultimately, your lifestyle. (For example, if you carry a small notepad in your pocket, and write down every single money you spend for thirty days, it will bring to you an instantaneous awareness of the many money choices you make that result in money pouring out of your pockets. Logging everything you spend will create a completely new set of choices and disciplines around your spending. Tracking is a simple exercise. It works because it brings moment-to-moment awareness to the actions you take in the area of your life you want to improve. You will be surprised at what you will observe about your behavior.)
4. Ensure you take action. Be bold and take a Step forward when necessary. When you are not happy about your life, you must be unhappy enough to do something about it, the situation will not change until you take ACTION. For a situation to change, you must take actions. Circumstances don’t change by themselves. Our actions will change existing circumstances.
5. Find a Success Partner. There are few things as powerful as two people locked arm and arm marching towards the same goal. To up your chances of success, get a success buddy, someone who will keep you accountable as you cement your new habits while you return the favour. Have a ‘Performance Partner’ and Create 30 mins for each other weekly during which you trade your wins, losses and fixes. Learn to solicit the needed feedback and hold each other accountable.
6. Work on Yourself. “If you want to have more, you become more. Success is something you attract by the person you become” (Jim Rohn). We should ask ourselves the question: “Who do I need to become?” Let us consider the example that you are a man desiring a good wife, with certain attributes. Ask yourself, “What kind of a man would such a woman be looking for? Who do I need to become to be attractive to a woman of this substance”? Then go to work on becoming and achieving those qualities. It works. The key is your getting clear on who you had to be to attract and keep a woman of the quality you want, and doing the work to achieve that. This works for everything else we want. Try it.
7. Entertainment vs Education Ratio. How do you split your time between Entertainment and Education? What is your entertainment vs education ratio? The top 20% of successful people spend their time focused on education. Stop wasting your time reading useless stuff that add no real value or consuming negative stories, watching the news and more. The news MOSTLY aggregates the worst, saddest, and most stressful stories every day. Instead, Learn Daily. Are you learning each day? This is a major key to success. No business is going to keep someone around just for showing up. You must be equipped with sufficient knowledge to add value. Organisations tend to keep their knowledgeable staff.
8. Eliminate the Trigger for your Bad Habits. Identify triggers for your bad habits: the who, when, where, and what, that prompts you to start your bad habits. Start by eliminating these triggers, then throw them out. Remember the adage ‘a problem known/well defined, is a problem half solved’. Be honest with yourself, we all have weaknesses but become better people by identifying these weaknesses and consciously working on them.
9. Always go a Little Bit Beyond What People Expect. Try a little harder. No one achieves greatness by doing merely what is expected of him. What determines the excellence of your greatness is what you put over and above what is expected of you. Remember, there is that ‘extra’ that makes ordinary to become extra-ordinary.10. Patience is the Answer. In order for the compound effect to work, you need to be patient. Most of these daily changes won’t provide immediate results. For example, if you reduce your calories by 150 today, you won’t see a difference today or even this week. The same is true with working out. You can work very hard at the gym and you won’t see results today or this week. Same logic applies to the compound effect principle. These daily disciplines must be given time to produce results.
CONCLUSION. For the Compound Effect to be effective as a tool to achieving success and to make a real and lasting difference in any life, it must be combined with consistent and positive actions. As you leave this community today, I encourage you to allow this lecture and its philosophy become your guide. Let the ideas sink in and produce genuine, tangible, and measurable outcomes for you. Take immediate action on your new insight and knowledge. Make a choice from today to make the next five years better and an improvement of the last 5 years. Choose to change your life, once and for all. Stay focused on the simple but profound disciplines that will lead you in the direction of your desires. Thank you for your valuable time. I look forward to reading about your success story.
This article is an extract of a paper delivered by Rear Admiral K O Komolafe (Rtd) during the 2017 valedictory ceremony of Caleb British International School. It has been published with full permission.