This book is the best personal development book that I have read so far. There are many reasons for this. First it is not too long and there are no parts that are typically found in books to just fill up the space, I recommend no skipping. Also, there are so many practical tips, so a few of them I have started using right away. There are also a lot of aha moments and also a lot of moments where author have just confirmed my previous opinions about what is important. This is the book I highly recommend to anyone, actually I plan to inform all the people from my inner circle and recommend about how great this book really is.
Apart from his father, Darren was mentored and influenced by Jim Rohn, and there are several parts in the book where he quotes Jim Rohn. Recently I also watched a great 2 hour video (without a pause!) and I also highly recommend watching it again, although it’s from the 1981, two years before I was even born! The video is called: How to Take Charge of Your Life.
The author explains the compound effect via lot of examples. The compound effect basically says that deciding and doing something every day shapes and impacts our lives greatly in the long run or via the formula: Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE.
One of the best illustrations of this effect is given by comparing three imaginary friends Larry, Scott and Brad. Larry doesn’t change anything, Scott makes some little changes by reading 30 minutes of inspiration books every day and also cuts 125 calories per day. Brad bought a new TV, started watching cooking shows and start eating a bit more, 125 calories per day more. For the first few months up until 12 months there are practically no differences, but after 2+ years Brad is fat, his marriage suffers, his career also, while Scott is now trim, got a promotion, he is earning more money and is feeling better. It’s really an eye opening example, more about it in the book of course.
In another part of the book author says that we are often sleepwalking through our choices and many times we are even not aware we’re making them. Author also says that it is very important to take 100% responsibility for the success or failure of your present condition. You alone are responsible for the choices you make and the actions you take!
Then author explained his simple tracking technique that worked for him in transforming everything that he wasn’t good at. So he also recommends, to become aware of your choices, you must track every action in the area you want to improve for three weeks at least. If you want to track for instance money spending, every time you spend money you must write it down in your small notebook. The reason is quite logical i.e. you can’t change or improve something until you measure it. Due to logging many times you will not spend money, or eat something or do make other bad habit come true again. This seems like a great technique so I have already started logging everything I eat and all my workouts, although I don’t use the real notebook i.e. I use the Google keep app on my Smarthone.
Another big and important part of the book speaks about good and bad habits since 95% of everything we feel, think, do, and achieve is a result of a learned habit. The only way to change for the better is to change our daily habits and daily routines. Routines are important since they are the only way any of us can predictably regulate our behavior (there is no way around it) and that’s why many successful people and high-achievers use routines. Author has described in details his morning and evening routines and I must admit that his routines are very good so I tweaked my own routines a bit according to the author’s routines.
An important skill is also learning how to effectively set and achieve goals and for that it’s not enough to have willpower, you need to have the why power! Why (motivation) power gives you passion, the source for your enthusiasm, and the fuel of your persistence and this motivation is typically beyond monetary and material goals. There is an interesting effect regarding goals where if you focus on your goals you almost always attract it in your life. Author quoted his mentor Jim Rohn in saying that most people chase goals, but instead you should change yourself and then you will attract those goals i.e. they will come to you. This part was a real aha moment for me!
Darren is one of those guys that don’t watch TV, and who use RSS feeds only to filter the information that interests him. He doesn’t listen to the news because he believes that the news is biased and showing only negativity while so many more positive things happen at the same time. There is a good example with people driving by a beautiful sunset without even looking, but in case an accident happen everyone takes a look and it’s since our brains are not designed (through evolution) for happiness, they are designed for survival. Darren also learned by Brian Tracey to turn his car into a mobile classroom and tends to listen to instructional audio books and stuff while driving. I am also doing this but I prefer to read while cycling on my bike, actually I have read this book while pedaling my bike so I was both exercising my muscles and my mind.
Another big part of the book talks about momentum (author has a cool name Big Mo). When we start something new and we start building routines, doing stuff, learning and trying, after some time we see almost no real progress and this is when a lot of people quit. But actually, the wheel of momentum (or Big Mo) has just started spinning and it’s very important to keep chasing the same goals, doing the same work and routines and to be patient. After some time, the big wheel of momentum starts spinning and you get your results even much more than expected, but now you have to spend much less energy than before to keep the wheels of Big Mo spinning. There is a good example of the effect of momentum with the pump that pumps water from deep and another example with train that starts very slow but once it gets to speed it is practically unstoppable.
Everyone is affected by three kinds of influences: input (what you feed your mind), associations (the people with whom you spend time), and environment (your surroundings). Regarding the input to run at peak performance you must take care of what you eat but also, you must be vigilant about what you see or listen via TV, news, radio etc. As stated earlier author doesn’t feed his brain with all the junk news that we all are bombarded with. Regarding people we spend time together (our reference group) some scientific evidence show that this group determines 95% of your success or failure. So it is very important to be very careful with whom we spend time with – we can’t expect to hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life! Here, author actually says that we should avoid people that refuse to grow and live positively and also to start hanging out with people who have positive qualities in the areas of life where we want to improve. The author also recommends that we should have a mentor, or even more mentors for different areas of life. If we can’t afford them, we can should use books or videos from people that we admire and who are successful in the areas we would like to be successful as well.
Coming to the end of the books the author speaks about over delivering and doing the “extra” effort, beating the expectations and doing the unexpected since that’s what he did most of the time in business and life and what paid him great dividends. There is one valuable success principle that the author use: “Whatever I want in life, the best way to get it is to focus my energy on giving to others. If I want to boost my confidence, I look for ways to help someone else feel more confident. If I want to feel more hopeful, positive, and inspired, I try to infuse that in someone else’s day. If I want more success for myself, the fastest way to get it is to go about helping someone else obtain it.”
Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE
Because nothing fails like success. Once-dominant empires have failed for this very reason. People get to a certain level of success and get too comfortable.
Everything in your life exists because you first made a choice about something. Choices are at the root of every one of your results. Each choice starts a behavior that over time becomes a habit.
Your biggest challenge is that you’ve been sleepwalking through your choices. Half the time, you’re not even aware you’re making them!
Preparation (personal growth) + Attitude (belief/mindset) + Opportunity (a good thing coming your way) + Action (doing something about it) = Luck
My mentor Jim Rohn said, “The day you graduate from childhood to adulthood is the day you take full responsibility for your life.” Today is graduation day! From this day forward, choose to be 100 percent responsible for your life. Eliminate all of your excuses.
The first step toward change is awareness.
But as Jim Rohn would say, “What’s simple to do is also simple not to do.”
You’ll be surprised at what you will observe about your behavior. You cannot manage or improve something until you measure it.
Every great act, every fantastic adventure, starts with small steps. The first step always looks harder than it actually is.
Aristotle wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Merriam-Webster defines habit this way: “An acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.”
“Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon… must inevitably come to pass!”
One thing Jim Rohn taught me is: “If you want to have more, you have to become more. Success is not something you pursue. What you pursue will elude you; it can be like trying to chase butterflies. Success is something you attract by the person you become.”
Habits and behaviors never lie. If there’s a discrepancy between what you say and what you do, I’m going to believe what you do every time.
Leadership expert John C. Maxwell said, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
Life is simply a collection of experiences; our goal should be to increase the frequency and the intensity of the good experiences.
Winning the race is all about pace. Be the tortoise. The person who, given enough time, will beat virtually anybody in any competition as a result of positive habits and behaviors applied consistently.
Jim Rohn taught that we become the combined average of the five people we hang around the most. Rohn would say we could tell the quality of our health, attitude, and income by looking at the people around us.
There is a point in every race when a rider encounters his real opponent and understands that – it’s himself,
As Jim Rohn would say, “Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” The real growth happens with what you do after you’re at the wall.
The only conclusion I can give is to really buy and read this book. It’s not too long and too complicated, it has very good examples, and the writing is not complex. This is one of those books that I recommend reading at least two times. I have actually “read” the book as audio and then wanting to read this review I reread it again.