Minakhee Writings

Luck: A mix of destiny and effort

Some of my takeaways from Barren Hardy’s book “ The Compound Effect”.


Backed by his compelling practical experimentations and domain expertise, Barren Hardy unboxes a priceless formula for success. Heralded as the successor of celebrated personal-development legends like Orison Swett Marden and Napoleon Hill, Barren reveals that success is not a magic pill. He corroborates that success results from grit, perseverance, and consistent hard work. Reality has a distinct version, quite contrary to flashy marketing gimmicks. Hardy wants to convey the overriding point that there is no substitute for consistent hard work and planned well-thought-out actions.


Though “The Compound Effect” of conscientious and persistent efforts is phenomenal, it is often difficult to foresee it from our current perspective. There are no quick fixes or overnight makeovers to court success. Marketing gimmicks create misinformed, glittery illusions that ignore the fundamentals.Barren reveals various strategies to get compounded, realistic, measurable & sustainable results.


He says,” Compound effect is the operating system that runs life” and it is fundamental to everyone who strives for success in life.


Barren dives into the intricacies of each of the strategies. He emphasizes that consistent hard and smart work is the key to outrunning all competition.


Personally, I relate to this incredibly simple yet profound tenet. Pure, simple hard work has helped me overcome my shortcomings. My cousin and I were both students of classical Hindustani vocal music. While I had the passion, my cousin had an inborn talent. He used to pick up the most challenging notes at the snap of a finger. Quiet predictably, he was favoured by my music teacher. I bore no animosity towards my cousin but wanted to get a distinction in the music exam. I practised every day for hours until my parents begged me to stop my obsession. The results of the vocal exam startled everyone, including my teacher. There were sincere tears of pride in his eyes when he hugged me. I knew that I would always have to work five times harder than my cousin to stay a step ahead of him. Though I didn’t take my interest in music to the next level, I stumbled upon a goldmine. I clung to the fact that an individual can always rely on themselves and their consistent hard work. I applied this simple yet priceless discovery to various aspects of my life. Every time I used this principle, I succeeded. Though my success story is not carved in any history books, I am optimistic that hard work will take me places.


Of the other priceless lesson that Barren espoused was to take 100% responsibility for everything, including failure. Inaction is worse than failure. While an individual can fail, they can always learn from their mistake. Conversely, Inaction makes one immobile and static. Success comes through actions and not inactivity.


However, an individual should strive to make intelligent choices and stick to them consistently to see a transformative change. The compound effect of consistent innovative actions begets enormous rewards. Barren explains the simple yet powerful concept of “The magic penny.” The concept of the magic penny is as follows. When given $3M upfront or one penny that doubles in value every day for 31 days, most people choose the $3M. They fail to understand that by the end of the 31st day, the one penny becomes $10+M. They fail to foresee the future benefits of patience and jump in for instant gratification. The “microwave mentality” for quick solutions is unhealthy in the long run.


Barren further notes that luck involves a lot of pre-preparation, attitude and mindset refinement, positive actions, and the ability to comprehend and grab a good opportunity.


Through the length and breadth of the book, Barren reiterates the philosophy that the magic of success is doing simple things repeatedly for a prolonged period, setting the compound effect in motion. The book has left an indelible mark on my psyche. The simple lessons echo actual values and resonate with my core values. I will string these pearls into the necklace of my life and unleash the magic of the compound effect.



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