I love books. I don’t like e-books though. I like to feel a book in your hand, being able to turn the page or highlight an area that you find interesting or relevant. The problem is, I just don’t read that many books. I think I would read 1, maybe 2 books a year if I was lucky. I never felt like I had the time just to sit and…read.
But about 2 years ago, I read a book called the “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. That book started a movement that has led me on an amazing journey. Just to give you an idea of how much, I have “read” 25 books in the past 18 months.
Now the reason I wrote “read”, is because I never actually read them. What I found was an app called Audible, and you get to listen to them being read to you. So, whilst I am out working in the shed, chopping wood, mowing the lawn, driving to work etc., I am listening to a book. I usually have a notebook in my back pocket so if anything comes up that I find interesting or relevant, I just write it down. (I have a big 250 page notebook that I write all the cool stuff in for future reference.)
And all the books have been “self-help” books, about gut health, or mental awareness, or investment advice or just general motivational books. Some have been amazing…and some not so.
The reason why I am telling you this is, I want to make a point about “starting”. In “The Compound Effect” it talks about when you start, you don’t see much of a change initially. It points out that you must do a little bit every day, every week, every month. It takes time to see the effects of your work, but changes will occur. Sometimes so small you will hardly notice (like a slight change in mindset), but over time, it will start to snowball, to have a compound effect on itself. And the results can be amazing.
Here is an example Darren wrote in his book (and I am paraphrasing). I am going to give you a choice. (Don’t look down past the 2 points below – choose before reading on.)
You can get paid $150,000 per day for 31 days or
You start with one cent and it double the amount each day for 31 days.
Which would you choose?
Let’s look at the comparisons. After 28 days, if you chose 1, you would have $4,200,000, whilst if you chose 2, you would have $1,342,177.28 in your hand. Both pretty good, but you would be very happy if you chose number 1 at the moment.
Then let’s jump to Day 30. Choice 1 would leave you with $4,500,000, whilst choice 2 would have $5,368,709.12 in your account. It took 30 days to actually pass choice 1. By day 31, it has amassed to over $10.7 million. As you can see, once it starts to snowball, there is no stopping it. But it is because something is done every day.
This also is the case with life. Darren believes it takes 2.5 years (30 months), to start to see the compound effect from all the work you have done with your life. You won’t notice the changes initially, but given time, you will.
2 years ago I was hiding. I was in fear. I suffered from depression. I was unaware of how “unaware” about life I really was. I look back and I just wasn’t engaged, truly engaged.
So after reading Darren’s book, I made a conscious decision to start listening to books regularly. And through that I have come up with new ideas, set back-up plans in place and decided to study in a different field. All just little bits of changes along the way. But one thing always lead to another. I decided to do a course here, another one there.
I had a massive shift in May thanks to that chain of decisions, and had continual steady growth since then. Recently I became aware of the mental changes I am making. I became really aware where I was not engaged, committed or focused. So I started to consciously change that. And it is paying dividends on all fronts.
I am more engaged and involved around home and as a result feel even better about myself and more fulfilled, in fact proud of how I was able to identify it, put strategies in place and then make changes accordingly. I also have a new purpose, vision and mission.
Did I see that light at the end of the tunnel 2 years ago, that mission and purpose, or where I was going to end up? No. Not even close. But making that decision to start was the best decision I ever made.
For years I just kept doing the same thing hoping things would change, but then never did because I just kept doing the same thing. So, if you keep on doing the same thing and expect things in your life to change, then you are just kidding yourself.
It will never change.
You have to have a good look at yourself and your situation and if you are not happy, the admit it to yourself. It’s your life. Own it!
Then decide to do something about it. Then there is only one thing you have to do.