In his role as publisher of SUCCESS magazine, which contained business and self-improvement advice from high-achievers, Darren Hardy interviewed a wide range of “fascinating, interesting people”. This post centres around his advice for success, including the power of the compound effect, and explores aspects like consistency, hard work, setting goals, making improvements, tracking progress, and the positive impact of advisors and mentors.
Read more to watch a video of a presentation Darren gave about the lesson he learnt from his most personally meaningful interview for SUCCESS magazine, as well as discover key ideas from “The Compound Effect”*, a book about the impact of everyday decisions that Darren published at the start of the decade.
Lesson from a centenarian
Darren is an accomplished public speaker, and in the roughly 11 minute long video below, he speaks about the individual he interviewed who had the biggest impact on his life: a “wealthy, well-respected, and very loved” centenarian, who declined publicity as he’s a very private person. He learnt the following from him: only a few things matter to anything – find them, stick to them, and then master them.
In the video, Darren expands on this sentiment with anecdotes from named interviews he did:
...In any endeavour, in any activity, in anything you’re pursuing success in, there are only a few things that matter. Don’t leave the field of the few things that matter to chase the novel, the new and the exciting, because ultimately you’ll leave success on the table.”
The compound effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices… These small changes offer little or no immediate result; no big win; no obvious ‘I told you so' payoff, so why bother?… These small, seemingly insignificant steps completed consistently over time will create a radical difference…
When you understand how the compound effect works, you won’t pine for quick fixes or silver bullets. Don’t try to fool yourself into believing that a mega-successful athlete didn’t live through regular, bone-crushing drills and thousands of hours of practice. He got up early to practise and kept practising long after others had stopped. He faced the sheer agony and frustration of the failure, loneliness, hard work and disappointment it took to become number one.”
The access point to your ‘why power’ is through your core values, which define both who you are and what you stand for. Your core values act as your navigation system through life. Your core values are the values you would fight for and defend to the death. These values make up your character. They are your non-negotiables in life. They are the attributes you would hope others would say about you in your absence and in your departure. They become what you are known for. They become your internal compass, your guiding beacon… If you haven’t clearly defined your values, you may end up making choices that conflict with them. And when your actions conflict with your values, the results are unhappiness, frustration and despondency. Psychologists tell us that nothing creates internal stress and trauma more than when what you’re doing on the outside – your actions and behaviours – is incongruent with your values on the inside… When you are certain of your core values, decision-making is simplified. When faced with a choice, you simply ask yourself ‘does this align with my core values?’. If yes, do it. If no, don’t and don’t look back.”
Tracking… works because it brings moment-to-moment awareness to the actions you take in the area of your life that you want to improve. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll observe about your behaviour. You cannot manage or improve something until you measure it. Likewise, you can’t make the most of whom you are, your talents and resources and capabilities until you are aware of and accountable for your actions. Every professional athlete and his or her coach track each performance down to the smallest minutiae… Professional athletes know how to adjust their performances based on what they’ve tracked. They pay attention to what they record and make changes accordingly because they know when their stats improve, they win more games and earn more in endorsement deals. At any given moment, I want you to know how well you’re doing.”
Your own advisors and mentors
Mentoring is your true legacy. It’s the greatest inheritance you can give to others. And it should never end. It’s why you get up every day: to teach and to be taught.”
Act, Review and Improve
What are your thoughts on Darren’s advice for success, including the compound effect?
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