Book 14th: How to make a change?

Joy’s Book Review: The 14th Book of 2018

Very few books contain life wisdom that can make a difference in your life, this book is one of them. There are many simple and deep life philosophies that everyone knows but few can explain well. Like: “Consistency is the key to success.” “Successful people have a good habit.” “Compound interests is the 8th wonder of the world.” But why?

This book gives a clear explanation on the compound interest effect on life: what? how? why?


The compound formula is simple: small, smart choices + consistency + time = Radical difference. 


All these are easily said to be done. In the book, the author illustrated how to make compound effect: choice small but smart decisions, take small steps, build good habits, accelerate and amplify the results. The concept of compound interest is not a brand new idea to me, still, it reinforces my understanding of HOW to make it work for myself.


Here is a part of my self-reflection after reading:

On Long-term and Short-term goal:

I did not realize that part of my mistakes is treat some of my important life goals as short-term goals, not the long-term goal.

I used to set a goal with a deadline on it. When I did not reach it, I became sad and even depressed. I turned out to quit my routine practice after that and started to self-doubt.

After reading, I found that I just need to change one simple thing to solve this problem: regard my short-term goal as long-term, even lifetime goal. I used to think setting a goal without a deadline is a coward move. Efficiency is so important in modern world. Time is money! How many business opportunities I will waste if I did not finish tasks quickly.

Therefore, I missed the compound interest rule – the 8th wonders of the world.

The downside of a short-term goal is the compound effect cannot illustrate its full power simply because the accumulated time is not enough. Reaching a short-time goal can give one a lot of praises and pride, however, if one fails to get what you desire shortly, he is more inclined to give up, because the depression shock after setbacks is severely bad. It hurts the confidence and deprives of the pleasure of moving along.

Moreover, if one reaches his short-term goal, he easily becomes too prideful or overconfidence. He may start to judge himself too high then he actually is. And being full impede growth.

Lastly but most important, aiming for short-term may make one more shortsighted, putting shallow efforts in order to get things done faster, instead of thinking deeper and move slowly, to make something great.

Thus, it would better for me to set the most important goals as long-term/lifetime goals.

First, I will have enough time to make plans. I have enough space to calm down, think deeper about strategies, analysis deeper and better what actions needed to take, what habit I need to build, what direction I want myself to go. My plan will be more thoughtful. Setbacks won’t hurt too much since I still own the most important asset – time to reach goals. I will be more focused on taking small steps, moving forward, not making mistakes. And if I am using the time to execute my plan, even it is as slow as it can be, I let the compound interest tool running secretly in favor of me!


Image if I set a goal: lose weight in three months.

Then, I will force myself to go to the gym at least three times a week, stick to a crazy rigid diet schedule, skip fancy dinner invitation from friends. Plans are good, the problems are these rapid changes require too much willpower to execute it. It is too hard that will trigger a Fight or Flight mode. If you fight, you may win as become tougher, if you lose, even missing one or two days, you will feel so bad that want to drop the plan. The real failure is when you stop trying!

Second, if you stay in the fighting mode with all your will powers there, sometimes you satisfied with your performance and sometimes you hated yourself, thus your mood would constantly go up and down because of this strict plan. Eventually, sticking to the plan becomes a dreadful burden. No one can carry a burden for too long, so many short-term plans cannot last longer!

Lastly, let’s see if you are stronger enough to reach the short-term goal. What you will do, celebrate the achievement and then? Probably you will switch to normal after a few days. Because you got the satisfaction and won the pride, what left? No, the project is over. Time for another goal. So you move one, but a few months later when you look back, you probably will find yourself not getting better than your starting point. The fighting period for a short-term goal journey is just a journey that you will feel proud of. You don’t own it. It is just a bragging as a hero’s past. And what you will lose? The remaining life to let the compound effect amplifies.

Now, instead, if I set a goal as: keep weight under 50 Kilogram during my whole life.

Setting this long-term goal changes my perspectives.

First, since it is a life-long goal, I would be more willing to measure it by average. I will allow my weight to drift between 40 ~ 60K, as long as I stick to the whole plan. I can tolerant more mistakes, failures, delays, errors because I am always adjusting my methods. I also can be more flexible thus I don’t hurt myself if I failed in one or two days. Besides, no time limit allows me to pay more attention to subtle factors that easily being ignored, like stress that may influence my sleep thus makes me overweight. I will have ample time to find the real reason and fix it. It also keeps my eyes on growth, not a temporary result.

The long-term goal is worth pursuing valuable because when the compound effect can play magic, it not only make you fly high but also make sure as long as you keep at it, you won’t fail.

As long as the compound effect is working, your destiny lies in your own small, subtle decision.


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