Why do small behavior changes make such a big difference?

The power of compound interest is not limited to financial matters.

The compound effect is present everywhere in our lives.

1: Small behavior changes done consistently over time will result in a radical change in the quality of our lives, Darren Hardy outlines in his powerful book, The Compound Effect.

Physically: what if we did push-ups, sit-ups, or pull-ups or went for a long walk every day?

Spiritually: what if we read the Bible or other spiritual material every day?

Emotionally: what if we kept a gratitude journal or reached out someone in our social network and shared what we admire about them every day?

Intellectually: what if we read or listened to something inspirational or educational for 15-minutes every day?  

Not for a few days.  Not for a week or two.  But every day.  All year.  This year.  Next year.

What would be the impact of doing one or more of these seemingly small actions?  

Small behavior changes done consistently over time will result in a radical change in the quality of our lives.

It’s not rocket science.  It’s not advanced calculus.

2: Darren’s #1 tip to make a behavior change?

Track it.

Keep score.  

Tracking brings attention to the smallest things done right.  Or, done wrong.

“The first step toward change is awareness,” Darren writes.  “To help you become aware of your choices, I want you to track every action that relates to the area of your life you want to improve.

“If you’ve decided you want to get out of debt, you’re going to track every penny you pull out of your pocket.  If you’ve decided you want to lose weight, you’re going to track everything you put in your mouth.  If you’ve decided you’re going to train for an athletic event, you’re going to track every step you take, every workout you do.

“Simply carry around a small notebook and a writing instrument.  You’re going to write it all down.  Every day.  Without fail.  No excuses, no exceptions,” Darren suggests.

As we make changes to our behavior, Darren warns us not to expect fanfare.  “Chances are no one is going to notice.  There will be no applause.  No one will send you a congratulations card or trophy.”

But, eventually, the compound effect will pay off with exceptional results.

3: Why do small changes make such a big difference?

Because the difference between victory and defeat is usually quite close.  The laws of statistics tell us the majority of people are at the mean.  The middle.  There are relatively few of us who are significantly above or below the mean.  

But those above the mean experience a much larger benefit.  

The horse that wins the race by a nose gets a 10X payoff.  The horse is not 10X faster.  It’s just a little better, but it gets a significantly larger payout than the #2 horse.  And, infinitely more than the #10 finisher.

The difference between the #1 ranked golfer in the world and #10 golfer is only 1.9 strokes.

But the difference in the prize money is 5X.

The #1 golfer isn’t 5X better.  Statistically, he or she is less than 5% better.  But they receive a 5X payout.

Which is why all the little changes we make add up to big results.  

“The magic is in not the complexity of the task; the magic is in the doing of simple things repeatedly and long enough to ignite the miracle of the

Compound Effect,” Darren writes.  “The biggest difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people are not.”

__________________________

Reflection:  What is one area of my life where I’d like to see improvement?  What small change done consistently would make a difference?

Action:  Do it.  Start today.

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