How to Compound Your Success in Key Areas of Your Life Like a Flywheel

How To Achieve Peak Performance

I have discovered something incredible. I call it “The Cyclic Effect.”

I’ve found that improving numerous domains of our life end up resulting in helping out other domains.

And so if you improve them all, they improve each-other and compound to supercharge your results.

Now, better you go running away and saying that this is common sense, how many of us actually do this? Moreover, if you see the numbers and studies behind this, I think you will be even further convinced to do this AND you’ll learn how to do it right.

So here’s an example:

Improving your health with exercise and nutrition improves your energy levels, cognition, and happiness. Improving your happiness improves your marriage relationships, earning power, emotional intelligence, communication skills, productivity, and well-being. Improving your earning power and emotional intelligence allow you to improve your health and happiness.

As you can see, improving key areas of your life will be like improving the speed of a flywheel, which will compound your success in each of these areas. Each area you improve makes every other area improve so your succeed exponentially increases in each area.

Disclaimer: I like to give realistic expectations here. This is not some miracle cure that will compound your happiness or success to infinite levels. There’s a clear cap to how happy or fit you can be and there are diminishing returns to this process.

Now, I’ll show you some specific numbers:

In the book Social by Matt Lieberman, it points to numerous studies that have managed to put a dollar value on the happiness created by participating in charity, having good health, and friendship:

  • people who volunteered once a week had the same increase in well-being as a raise from $20,000 to $75,000 a year
  • A study across over 100 countries found giving to charity is related to well-being of doubling your salary
  • Another study found that having a friend you see on most days versus not having a friend was worth an extra $100,000 a year
  • Good health compared to not good health was equivalent to a $400,000 salary bonus

In the book, the Happiness Advantage, it points to numerous studies on how increasing happiness can increase your success in almost every domain of your life as a result:

  • a life-long study of Catholic nuns found that the ones who were more positives in the diary, lived longer and were healthier
  • studies showed that positive emotions widen our perception, creativity, and cognition, while negative emotions narrow our field of these things
  • a University of Toronto study found that people primed to be positive before an eye-tracking experiment caught almost everything while those who were primed to be negative missed fundamental things
  • 200 scientific studies on 275,000 people found happiness lead to success in every domain of life: marriage, health, creativity, cancer, friendship, business, and so on. They found that if you get happiness first, success will follow. Rather than the other way around.

Good health seems like common sense, but people don’t realize the side-benefits.

Here’re a few stats:

  • a study showed that only 9% of a group of depressed patients who exercised as treatment relapsed into depression versus 38% for a group that relied on anti-depressants and 31% for a group that exercised and used anti-depressants
  • From the book The Power Of Habit:

    When people start habitually exercising, even as infrequently as once a week, they start changing other, unrelated patterns in their lives, often unknowingly. Typically, people who exercise start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed… “Exercise spills over,” said James Prochaska, a University of Rhode Island researcher.

So how do you use all this information effectively?

I improve the big, fundamental pillars of my life with specific strategies I will explain in detail, knowing that they will, as a result, help other areas, which in term will come back to help the first area like a cycle.

That’s why I coined it The Cyclic Effect.

The Cyclic Effect

Exercise -> Happiness Techniques -> Meditation -> Social and Friendship Activities -> Charity/Volunteering -> More Energy/Productivity -> Exercise.

Each of these helps the others and part of the others.

And consciously improving each of these compounds the effects.

So, for example:

I improve health -> which naturally improves happiness. I do techniques to improve long-term happiness -> which naturally improves all other domains of my life -> I do regular meditation, which research has shown permanently rewires your brain to raised levels of happiness, lower stress, lower blood pressure, better your immune system, increases creativity, and a ton of other things. -> and the cycle keeps going and compounding on itself endlessly. And that’s pretty much what the main theme of my content is about: all these things that you can do to improve these different areas.

The Specific Exercises for Each Pillar of the Cyclic Effect:

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what you can do:

Exercise techniques:

I eat healthy by researching nutrition and reading books like 50 Secrets of the Longest Living People.

I exercise cardio (not weight-lifting, although I do that too) daily, knowing that cardio is what will actually keep me healthy, give me energy, and make me feel happier for the long-term.

Doing this gives me more energy, health, longevity, and happiness rather than what most people do: they eat McDonald’s and they feel like shit for the whole day. I look better, feel better, I’m more confident, I’m more approachable, and girls are more attracted to me.

Now, I do long-term Happiness techniques.

There’s about a dozen and you don’t have to do them all. Just pick a few for now. These are things that actually bring long-term happiness based on what science has shown.

Rather than what society thinks brings long-term happiness, which really doesn’t:

  • spending money on materialistic things for yourself like fancy cars
  • a second house
  • new shoes
  • gourmet food
  • girls

Why is this the case? Because of a concept called hedonic adaptation, which very quickly makes us get used to these things and take them for granted.

Long-Term Happiness Techniques:

These are the ones I choose to do:

  • Exercise
  • Savoring the good of the smallest things (nature, a leaf, a walk)
  • Expressions of gratitude to myself and to others
  • Connecting with old friends
  • Meditation
  • Using your #1 strength in a new way every day – First you need to take a strength assessment survey like Strengths Finders 2.0 It’s not free. It cost me $20 but it’s worth the investment. A study of 577 people found that those who used their identified strength in a new way every day had significantly higher levels of happiness than control groups even 6 months after the experiment.
  • Doing something new every day (variety) – based on the great investor John Templeton’s book 21 Secrets to Success and Happiness
  • Spending on experiences with people rather than things – a study of 150 people found that they had lasting levels of happiness when they spent money on experiences rather than on items for themselves even 6 months later.
  • Looking forward to cool, new activities I plan – studies show doing this increases endorphin levels by 27%

There’s a decent number of other things you can do like: religion, random acts of kindness (numerous studies show that spending on others even strangers increases happiness versus spending it on yourself. This was duplicated in 3rd world countries in case it was because the money spent was too trivial for first world countries. The results were the same), volunteering, charity work, and more. To learn about all of these things and the science behind them check out the book The How of Happiness.

Meditation Techniques

Studies show meditation has dozens of positive benefits including:

  • physical structure changes in your brain in areas of focus and self-control
  • greater creativity
  • better stress management
  • increased emotional intelligence
  • greater compassion
  • you feel less lonely
  • increased memory

If you want an introductory book to meditation along with a lot of science for the benefits of it, check out Russell Simmons’ book Success Through Stillness. He’s a very successful entrepreneur in the hip hop industry and the book is geared to his hip hop audience who have no meditation background but want his secret to success.

And while I’m talking about meditation, it’s one of my own secrets. Having studied thousands of successful people, I have found it very eerie how a lot of successful Western individuals meditate, from Robert Downey Jr. to Adam Levine. Billionaire Ray Dalio credits it as his #1 factor for success because it allows you to make decisions that are less based on emotions. (Essentially, it calms the amygdala and separates it more from the pre-frontal cortex, which accentuates your creativity and separates your emotions from your decisions)

Social and Charity Techniques

This is quite simple:

  • volunteer once a week (ideally) or once a month somewhere you WANT to volunteer at
  • spend your own money on others in need. Face-to-face contact helps. It doesn’t have to be a lot.
  • reconnect with old friends from your childhood via Facebook or phone. Arrange an in-person meeting
  • make new friends
  • go to new social activities to add variety

Other Techniques

There are other techniques and things you can do to add to the Cyclic Effect, but I’ve covered what I believe are the foundational pillars.

I talk about the other techniques and go more in-depth in the rest of my content on my blog and Youtube sometimes. These would include things like mind-games and mathematics like Bridge to keep your mind agile. This is why Warren Buffet claims he is still so sharp at age 85 compared to the other people his age. It’s also mentioned in the book 50 Secrets of the World’s Longest Living People, which studies the secrets of all the ethnic groups who live the longest on earth.

As an important note, all the studies and techniques I mentioned are just a fraction of what the books actually talk about. If you want more details and specifics, actually go and read the books. You can click on the names of the books and it will link you to Amazon. I will get a small commission if you buy. I did not recommend any of these books in order to get a commission, simply because they are good books and I wanted to share what I found.

And there’s plenty more studies than even the books have time to talk about if you’ll just search it up, especially for topics like meditation.

Also, I have found that a lot of successful entrepreneurs have said similar stuff.

“I’m a big believer that if you find happiness, then success will follow. Happiness encourages good life decisions, bolsters wonderful relationships, and opens up doors to great opportunities.” –Richard Branson

The billionaire Ted Leonsis wrote a whole book with the exact same theme called The Business of Happiness. Essentially, he says that you get happiness first and the success follows. He learned this the hard way, like hundreds of other millionaires I’ve come across in my studies. Ted found himself very unhappy despite being very rich and changed that. He suggests you instill happiness in your employees and it will trickle down to the bottom line.

It’s interesting to see people learn on their own, without the use of science or books, that happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, or women.

Like these celebrities: J.Cole, Russell Brand, and Jay-Z:


Also, it’s interesting to see people work out on their own specific techniques science has shown bring long-term happiness. In The Business of Happiness, Mr. Leonsis is stuck in traffic and see’s a man yelling in rage from his car. He looks up at the sunset and remarks on how people can’t take beauty in what’s in front of them. He describes the beautiful sunset and calls his wife. This is “taking in the good”, “savoring”, and “connecting with loved ones.”


You can get disproportionate results for the goals you are trying to achieve when you create habits that compound and help each other.

Turbocharge your business and success in life by using the Cyclic Effect like I mentioned: Cardio -> Nutrition -> Meditation -> Happiness Exercises -> Social Community Activities -> Cardio. The studies and numbers I showed don’t lie. Each of these elements has you get better results in the other areas, which leads to greater results in areas that matter: more energy, better memory, higher cognition, greater productivity, more will-power, greater focus, and dozens of other side-benefits.

If you found this useful and you’re a helpful person, share it with someone!

So how can you use the Cyclic Effect in your own life?

How can you get your employees, your family, and your friends to start using this too?

If you’re a helpful person and you found this useful, share it with someone.

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By Will Chou

I am the the founder of this site and I am grateful you are here to be part of this awesome community. I help hard-working Asian American Millennials get rich doing work they love.

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