The Compound Effect Explained Simply

The Compound Effect – All You Need To Know

In this post, we’ll unpack all you need to know about the Compound Effect, defining exactly what it is, how it works, how to leverage it to our advantage and more.

What Is The Compound Effect?

The Compound Effect refers to the cumulative effect of decisions which are made consistently over a long period of time that lead to exponential results. The longer the period, the greater the cumulative effect and the greater the results.

The Compound Effect is a reminder of the Law Of Cause & Effect. Every cause has an effect and as the causes increase, so do the effects.

“The accomplishment of any goal is the progressive accumulation, or Compound Effect, of small steps taken consistently over time.” ― Darren Hardy.

The Compound Effect Is Always Present

The Compound Effect is present every moment of our lives and impacts every area of our lives, for better or for worse. It applies to every single behaviour you engage in ― your thoughts, your feelings and your actions.

For example, the current state of your health is the compound interest of your health habits up until this moment, the current state of your wealth is the compound interest of your financial habits up until this moment and the current state of your relationships is the compound interest of your relationship habits up until this moment.

“Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.” ― Albert Einstein

Small Changes Lead To Big Results

The effects of the Compound Effect compound interest are non-intuitive to us because they are non-linear. The human brain, by default, thinks linearly.

Thus, it’s easy to underestimate the power of making small, seemingly insignificant changes and improvements every day and instead convince ourselves that massive change requires massive action.

However, as an example, improving by a mere 1% every day means you’ll end up with results that are almost 37 times better after a year, all thanks to the Compound Effect.

The effects of small changes may seem to make little difference on any given day, but their impact over longer periods of time are enormous ― and the longer the period, the greater the impact.

A powerful way to illustrate this point comes from social reformer Jacob Riis who says: “When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it ― but all that had gone before.”

How To Leverage The Compound Effect

Decisions shape our destiny. The small decisions in the short-term lead to big results in the long-term.

Therefore, the key to leveraging the Compound Effect is to make conscious and deliberate decisions consistently every day in a way that aligns with our goals and the quality of life we desire.

The Compound Effect requires two critical behaviours:

  • Patience – The longer you engage in behaviours that align with your goals and the quality of life you desire, the greater the results.
  • Persistence – The more you engage in behaviours that align with your goals and the quality of life you desire, the greater the results.

When you apply both patience and persistence together with the effects of compounding, you get extraordinary results.

“The first rule of compounding: Never interrupt it unnecessarily.” ― Charlie Munger.

Summary (TL;DR)

The Compound Effect refers to the cumulative effect of behaviours which are made consistently over a long period of time and lead to exponential results.

The sooner you begin to successfully leverage the Compound Effect, the sooner you begin to see results.

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