The hallmark of any great book are the quotes the author uses to reflect certain key concepts. Quotes enhance the credibility and quality of a book, and provide an “Improvisation” of sorts that truly sets the author apart. The Compound Effect in this regard never ceases to delight us with all sorts of powerful quotes ingrained within each and every chapter. 

In the previous summary, we looked at the core tenets of the book and what Darren Hardy really seeks to serve. This chapter is all about the quotes Hardy used to embellish the concepts surrounding The Compound Effect. We’ll highly suggest writing these down in a diary – these will serve you for a long time.

Quote #1 – Why You Shouldn’t Settle for Comfort…

“Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better”

In daily life, we often tend to take the easy route. Remember the last time you were put under a troublesome situation. What was your first reaction? You did try to find an easy solution, right. Let’s flip the table and imagine if it was a “life-death” scenario. 

Would you like for the easy way out then?

The principle Darren pushes us to ingrain is that of “growth”. That we should never cease to grow and at every crossroads, we should focus on seeking a way that not only helps us overcome the obstacle, but also makes us better in some way.
This fascinating phenomena in The Compound Effect isn’t just isolated in the book. Growth is very evidently backed by science too. In the context of academics, a research found that students with a growth mindset were more likely to score in the top 20% in a test.

Quote #2 – Accountability is Key to Real Growth

“You alone are responsible for what you do, don’t do, or how you respond to what’s done to you.”

How many times have we tried to shoulder our own mistake on someone else? Maybe it makes us maintain that “ego” we try so hard to show off. Or perhaps, our self-esteem is tied up to only when we win. The Compound Effect, however, asks the real question – “How is Growth possible without Failure”? Beyond that, the question lies “who should be held accountable for our own loss”?

The answer is quite evident but the human mind has a habit of negating responsibility. The Compound Effect helps us overcome this default mindset but holding ourselves accountable. Darren Hardy makes this statement multiple times that “we are a sum of our choices“. It’s not fate, it’s not destiny either. It’s us and the decisions that we make that ultimately set the tone for the rest of our lives.

  • Laziness today will result in lethargy and an irresponsible behavior in the long-term
  • A growth mindset today will help you strive for growth every time you show up for work

Remember this – What you feed your mind will ultimately come out of your mouth and reflect upon your life.

Quote #3 – Radical Improvement comes in Increments

“It’s not the big things that add up in the end; it’s the hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.”

If you feel like you’re not improving fast enough, take a chill pill and start looking at your life holistically. Ask yourself:

  • What were you like 2 years from today? 
  • What traits and habits were non-existent 2 years back? 
  • What kind of changes have you made in your life?

Improvement comes in small steps and whoever preaches big, bold maneuvers is either lying or has a penchant for making short-term gains. In order to truly revolutionize your life, it’s important that you start focusing on 2-3 healthy habits at a time. These habits do not have to be time-consuming. 

  • A cold shower takes up 5 minutes of your time at most
  • Journaling takes 1-2 minutes depending on how long you decide to write
  • A course or certification takes 15 minutes per day to complete

Quote #4 – Surround Yourself with the Best

“Seek out positive people who have achieved the success you want to create in your own life. Remember the adage: “Never ask advice of someone with whom you wouldn’t want to trade places.”

There have been numerous studies over the years that have highlighted the importance of an “optimal peer group”. The biggest businessmen, gurus, and philosophers have also commented on how important it is to surround yourself only with the best. The Compound Effect does the same by emphasizing the how much of a difference “positive people who have achieved success” can have in our life.

The adage further reiterates that sentiment and makes us ponder – If there’s someone whose shoes we’d be ready to fill in without much thought, wouldn’t their advice matter to us in decisive moments?

To give you a starter, write down a list of your current circle. This can be your friends circle or your business circle. Then write down next to each name, one particular trait that that person has in comparison to you. Now, next to the names, write down who you will seek out when you need advice about something.

Your selection might actually surprise you. But it definitely will help clarify which people you want to have more in your life, and which ones you can live without.

Quote #5 – Write down your thoughts

“Unsuccessful people carry their goals around in their head like marbles rattling around in a can, and we say a goal that is not in writing is merely a fantasy.”

Writing your habits down is one of the best ways you can revolutionize your life. There are so many entrepreneurs who did the same thing whether it was Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. The Human Mind can become awfully convoluted with lots of distracting thoughts. The onus is on us to filter through the thoughts and only focus on the ones that actually matter.

The Compound Effect stresses this point on multiple occasions in the book and it’s not fluke. The Human Brain has a crappy memory and most of the time, it decides to store the unproductive ones. Thoughts that bring us down rather than enable us to grow. 

Now that our organ will not help us, why don’t we push it to help us? Writing your thoughts down helps you organize your mind – what it feels and what they relate to – and then it helps you sort out the ones that are actually meaningful and contribute to your growth. So then, the next time you start falling down into the overthinking rabbit-hole, take a seat back, write those thoughts down, and see what a difference it makes.

You might just get an idea to build the next billion-dollar business.

Quote #6 – Compound Effect Takes Time to Prove Effective

“The real cost of a four-dollar-a-day coffee habit over 20 years is $51,833.79. That’s the power of the Compound Effect.”

Just like that coffee habit compounds into nearly $52k in 20 years, the compound effect will also start giving you rewards 5, 10 years from now.

  • You will not become a Guitar Virtuoso in 6 Months
  • You will not become a Master Salesman/Woman in a Year
  • You won’t become good at Golf in 8 months

Whether it’s Tommy Emmanuel or David Ogilvy or Tiger Woods, all of those men kept honing their craft each and every day. They worked hard without complaint and they kept making small, incremental adjustments to their life as they continued through the daily toll of life. You only have to look at their achievements to see how far they came along!

Quote #7 – Start Small, Win Big!

“The Compound Effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices”

This quote goes line in line with Quote #3 that pushes us to improve in increments. The Compound Effect isn’t complex and doesn’t take much to reap rewards. You only have to start making 1-2 habits for a month and those will pay off in the long-run. 

What’s important to note here is how consistent you are with these habits. Darren Hardy further writes – “Consistency is the key to achieving and maintaining momentum.”
You have to keep showing up regularly (NOTE: NOT DAILY!) in order to keep the momentum going and see tangible results someday.

Quote #8 – The Real Work starts Now!

“It’s time to WAKE UP and make empowering choices.”

Nothing stresses the power of compounding as much as this quote. The truth of the matter is – it doesn’t matter how many healthy habits you start building or how fast you do it. It all comes down to how soon you start working on those habits and how long you work on them for. 

Again, ask yourself:

  • Would it be more effective to start taking action right now than to wait another week or two? 

We can understand that a lot of people want to create the perfect environment first. But despite the distractions and unpleasing aesthetics, it’s important that you make the most of the time that you have now and start working on changing your life STARTING NOW!

Reference for Quotes (Goodreads):