Using the compound effect for lasting transformation


Umang Chhatrola

Advanced Yoga Practices (AYP) Teacher

The compound effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. Small consistent action over a long period of time has greater payoffs than intensely large but short-lived changes.

We all know that there is little effect on a large tree due to one blow of an axe. Yet, if the woodcutter remains consistent, the tree eventually tumbles. Raindrops are small, but with incessant pouring, they can become big puddles/ rivers. Extraordinary results are achieved with one small step in the positive direction taken daily.

This principle is applicable in every area of our life. Doing something small for our health and well-being every day is much better than any “drastic” measure taken occasionally. The latter is not bodily culture at all and can even be harmful. The principle of compound effect is especially important in our journey of transformation.

Buddha defined enlightenment as ‘the end of suffering’. It is a simple definition. However, for most of us, our journey of transformation will turn out to be a huge project with massive consequences. A heroic practice session here and there won’t make much difference. What we need is a stable routine of practices that we can do day-in and day-out for months, years and decades. And so it is important that we have a steady routine of simple and effective practices. That is the only way we can achieve anything worthwhile. Real transformation takes consistency and time.

The good news about creating the habit of meditation is that it has its own life and momentum. The benefits that we reap because of meditation will redouble our commitment to practice. We will become intensely devoted to our transformation. After only a few months of dedicated practice, it will be practically impossible for us to stop.

Our desire for freedom, joy, peace etc. is the foundation. If we have this desire, we can steadily build our fortress of liberation or enlightenment on it with a regular practice of meditation.

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