Bryant and I read the book, The Compound Affect, by Darren Hardy, this week.

“The Compound Effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices”

Really an inspiring book. Here are some of our favorite ideas in the book:

  • “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
  • “Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”
  • “Your biggest challenge isn’t that you’ve intentionally been making bad choices. Heck, that would be easy to fix. Your biggest challenge is that you’ve been sleepwalking through your choices.”
  • “Forget about willpower. It’s time for why-power. Your choices are only meaningful when you connect them to your desires and dreams. The wisest and most motivating choices are the ones aligned with that which you identify as your purpose, your core self, and your highest values. You’ve got to want something, and know why you want it, or you’ll end up giving up too easily.”
  • “In essence, you make your choices, and then your choices make you.”

So today I was looking for a podcast where we could hear more from Darren Hardy, and I found Darren Daily on Demand. Each episode is a quick clip, just a few thoughts to inspire daily.

“Have you ever been bitten by an elephant? How about a mosquito? It’s the little things in life that will bite you.”

I’ve been trying to think today, what small things un-managed, day after day, are “biting” me:

My time? 10 minutes on face book that turns into 30 minutes. That adds up over a week or a month, biting at my time.

My day? Not having a consistent intentional morning routine.

My hair? Remember, I have trichotillomania. That means I am missing some hair. But not because I grabbed a clump of hair and pulled it out. No. I rarely pull more than one at a time. It is that one. Every three or four minutes. Day after day. Year after year.

My budget? Buying brand-name items when the generic is just as good.

My spirit? Allowing less-than-inspiring entertainment in my home, and in my life.

My relationships? Allowing even one negative un-managed thought in a day changes, little by little, the relationship, over time. I have seen that happen.

My sleep? When, after the show is done, I continue to browse appleTV or just stare at the screensaver. We have a really cool screensaver. I think I’ve lost hours of sleep indulging in that screensaver.

My skin? Not using sunscreen.

Even my relationship with Bry – one big thing is less likely to destroy our marriage than consistent and unashamed little bites, little comments, little looks, little attacks, little lies, year after year. That’s the compound effect – on the negative end.

On the positive end, of course, we can use the compound effect to make big changes, over time. Like the one friend I have that has used sunscreen religiously for 40 years. She glows!

Or date-nights, every Friday, year after year.

Or choosing to think only of the good in someone – giving someone the benefit of the doubt – over and over and over again.

“How can I control my thoughts. Try to do that for five minutes. It’s nearly impossible, because your mind is like a 2-year old child, and it is going to run off in every direction.”

It seems to me, the step before kicking thoughts that don’t serve us well out of our heads, is choosing who/what influences the thoughts that come to our minds in the first place. Input, is what Darren calls it.

“Garbage in garbage out. Good in good out…

What is it then that is informing and directing our thoughts? That is the input – whatever you are putting in your ears or in front of your eyes is what it is you are thinking about. Input.”

We talked about this a little bit in Day #42.

Who/what am I allowing to tempt me, persuade me, and influence me – to teach me?

People Magazine OR Success Magazine? (I had to add that in there. Darren works for Success Magazine.)

A friend who is always negative, always out of luck, always looking for an excuse OR a friend who is a thinker, a doer, a builder? “Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it…” Wilferd Peterson.

Striptease OR Amazing Grace?

Making memories OR scanning social media for others’ memories?

Video games in the basement OR hiking in the mountains?

Obnoxious music OR uplifting music? And that can come in any form – I believe that. How does the music make me feel?

We haven’t hung much art up in our home, and we have lived here three years now. I told my interior designer that I only want to hang pictures that absolutely inspire me.

“The dream in your heart may be bigger than the environment in which you find yourself.”

Live with and in and around those things that inspire! “Let (the) spirit (of those things) ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.”

Next DAY #122 SO WHAT

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