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  • Writer's picturePanshul Khurana

The Compound Effect | Darren Hardy | Book Review

What is it all about?

The book - "The compound effect" focuses on the strategy to achieve massive goals in small but consistent efforts made over an extended period of time. It is important to understand that to achieve greatness in something, you have to consistently do it (or practice it) even if you're bored of doing the same thing over and over again.

That's it!?

No! There's definitely more. The book introduces a lot of eye opener concepts & summarizing all of them in this blog would be difficult, hence I have cherry picked and talked about a few of them which in my opinion are a must and cannot be ignored or skipped.

Let's go!

Quick note - I don't believe in rating a book in terms of stars or numbers for the fact that I'm in no position to rate someone's hard work. I respect the effort made and I only review the books I've learned a lot from. That's my way of rating!

About the Author

Darren Hardy, for the past 25+ years, has been the central curator of the success media business – three television networks and founding publisher of SUCCESS magazine. Learn more about Darren Hardy from here

So, what's the author saying in the book?

The Compound Effect - Let's try and understand the term "compound effect" here.

What does compounding mean?

It is a mathematical term that accounts to something that compounds (increases or multiplies) with time. I'm sure you've heard the term "Compound Interest", the biggest deciding factor in C.I formula is time because the amount increases as the time passes by.

Ringing any bells!?

The author has simply taken this formula and has talked about how it can be applied in real life to achieve massive goals in life. To keep it simple, the compound effect is a strategy to fetch great rewards by taking small steps but repeating them over a significant period of time.

The compound effect formula = Small + Consistent steps done over a period of time

It simply means that - There is no shortcut to success!!

Story of three friends that explains the compound effect

So now, we know what compound effect is but to see the compound effect in action, let's look at the short story shared by Darren in the book.

It is about three friends and their consistent habits that will drastically change the course of their life over the period of time.

Friend 1 - He is happy! But complains occasionally that nothing ever changes.

Friend 2 - Has consciously started noticing that small diet changes are required to be made in order to stay healthy and is determined to shred the extra kilos. He starts making small cuts in his diet and has been quite consistent with it. Also, has started reading & listening to some inspiring stories.

Friend 3 - Is having fun! But has started making few poor food choices alongside a slow drinking habit.

All three of them may not notice any changes 2, 3 or even 5 months down the line but for sure the habits will start affecting them slowly and will definitely bring the noticeable change.

Friend 2, if continues to consistently follow the plan, may notice major changes (like body weight, shape & overall mental & physical well being) in 1 year. If he adopts it for life, he is definitely going to lead a good life be it physically, mentally, spiritually or financially.

Friend 1 may not experience anything bad in 1 year but he will definitely start experiencing that life has been pretty messy. It could be the relation with his family or the performance impact at work.

Similarly, Friend 3 may start experiencing serious health issues (like one or multiple organs failure) in 2-3 years.

In this case, you can see that the Compound effect will work FOR Friend 2 whereas it will work AGAINST Friend1 & 3.

This is the power of Compound Effect!


Our actions are determined by the choices we make. What ruins us is the consistent small bad habits / wrong choices we've made over the period of time. We've already understood this with the help of the story of three friends.

Very rightly quoted by Darren here -

Elephants don't bite!

A mosquito bite doesn't hurt you but it can make you sick. One wrong choice may result in subsequent wrong choices which only leads to bad results.

The Ripple Effect

The ripple effect is yet another simple but a powerful idea highlighted by Darren in "The compound effect".

We see the ripple effect in action when we throw a small piece of stone in a still lake or a pond. Another good example could be that of an earthquake, which sends out shockwaves in ripples.

Just like this, one small (good or bad) change in life can impact a lot of things in life for you & for people around you. We can also relate this to the choices we make in life. One bad choice & you can see it's ripple effect in your life in subsequent events.

Harnessing the power of Big Mo

This is one of my favorite topics from the book, to understand this concept let's first go through the Newton's law of motion -

Objects at rest stay at rest, unless acted upon by an external force to move & Objects in motion tend to stay in motion unless something stops the momentum.

Okay, so what? How is this going to help me?

This is exactly what's going to help you to get better at anything once you start applying this in your life.

Understand this - At first, you will need a lot of energy to bring a change. The continuous effort with time will bring in the Momentum and will develop a good habit. You've got to move and then simply keep pushing yourself to stay in momentum. Slowly, the Big MO will pick up.

One more thing, just the way compound effect works both for & against you, similar is the effect of Big Mo.

Limited Associations/Dissociations

Okay, it's a little difficult to implement what we are going to talk about here but trust me, this is really important and most of the time this is the biggest blocker in our life that we never get rid of!

Darren through this book has made this concept pretty simple to understand by using following statements -

There are some people with whom you can spend 3 hours but not 3 days. While there are some with whom you can spend 3 minutes but not 3 hours.

Influence of associations is both powerful & subtle.

This is another eye opening fact that we underestimate. We generally don't limit ourselves in terms of associations. Most of the time we know that a particular person is the reason that we walk at a slow pace in life. We just don't accept & disassociate ourselves from that person.

This is exactly what " Limited Associations & Dissociation '' means, you've to revisit / re-analyse your relationships and limit yourselves with associations that help you move forward with a blazing speed and completely dissociate from those who act like the stumbling stones.

Environment Matters

This isn't the first time that I read about the importance of an environment that sets you on the path of progress. "Atomic Habits" by James Clear also stresses upon the fact that - Environment is one of the biggest factors in providing motivation to achieve something.

Environment always matters

The question is - What kind of environment motivates you to get things done?

Identifying this solves a lot of problems related to not having a motivation to achieve bigger goals.

The dream in your heart may be bigger than the environment you are working in.


This brings us to the end. In my opinion, this book has some great truth bombs. These days a lot of advertisements are about getting the results at a blazing speed without acknowledging the fact that there are unknowns that can & will interrupt the progress we make. Greatness cannot be achieved overnight. It takes hours of efforts to build something that you can call an empire. I highly recommend this book to all those who are seeking greatness in life. I loved it!

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