The Slight Edge
This book is perfect for anyone who wants to take their life to the next level.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said the only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. It is more than a decision. It’s accompanied with an action.
The slight edge won’t change who you are as much as it will change what you do.
Olsen describes a moment in his life where he was cutting the grass of the Country Club golf course. He watched the wealthy club members playing golf all over the porcelain smooth grass that he had cut for them. He asked himself why wasn’t he driving in the carts and playing golf? Instead he was in the heat sweating it out for very little money.
This was the moment he decided to do something different. He didn’t want to live in the land of mediocrity, he wanted to inhabit the world of high achievement.
Like every entrepreneur, Olsen has experienced peaks and troughs, ebbs and flows. He has been a college dropout, a beach bum, and lost everything financially. He has been a straight A student, top corporate manager, super achieving entrepreneur in a cutting-edge industry and complete financial success. This seems to be a lot of people’s story.
Most people are focused on survival, making enough to get by. Very few people are willing to do the work it takes to create success. The reason why diets, self-help courses and weight loss programs don’t work for most people is the same reason why most how to books and courses don’t work for most people. It is that people do the action for a little while then stop.
Do the thing, and you shall have the power. Just do it. Fail your way to the top.
There is a natural progression to everything in life; Plant, cultivate, harvest, reap. Not reap first. Most people want to have success quick fast and easy. They expect to eat healthy food one-day train at the gym one-day and they’ll have an amazing healthy body. Forgetting it takes work. Daily work to create success.
It’s the boring, mundane, disciplined things you do on a daily basis which compound over time and make a profound difference in the future. It’s not about focusing on instant gratification now but having a long-term vision for where you love your life to be.
Time is your greatest ally. If we look at time as money; compound interest over time creates a nest egg. If we eat healthy over a long period of time we maintain a healthy weight. If we exercise a little bit every day we maintain our health. It’s the compounding every single day over time that creates the outcome.
Imagine instead of watching an hour of television every night, you sunk your teeth into pages of inspiring books like Napoleon Hills’ ‘Think and Grow Rich’ or Stephen Cove’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. What would your life be like today if five years earlier you had changed one simple thing? How different would your life be right now?
There is always a cost to everything that you do and you have to weigh up if that cost worth it? Is the pain of staying the same as weighing the pain of growing?
To be successful it is not education, looks, talent or inheritance. It isn’t chance, blind faith, or done luck, and isn’t prepared nurse meets opportunity either. It is an abundance of sincere wanting, wishing and I will add doing.
Successful people don’t wish for it they work for it. They live below their means, making small adjustments knowing it will pay off in the long run. There is nothing too exciting living this way. They are mastering the mundane. The slide edge is boring.
You don’t see the results, at least not today. You are willing to wait. What you do now really does matter. What you do today matters. What you do every day matters. Those little things that will make you successful in life, that will secure your health, your fulfilment, your dreams. It’s the simple subtle mundane things that nobody will see, nobody will applaud, nobody will even notice.
Because they are mundane and simple they are easy to do and they are easy not to do. Sometimes the path of success is inconvenient, and therefore not just easy not to do but actually easier not to do. For most people, it’s easier to stay in bed. Getting on the path and staying on the path requires courage and faith, especially at the start. You don’t know what’s out there, but you go out anyway.
The reason the slight edge is so widely ignored unnoticed, and undervalued is that our culture tends to worship the idea of the big break. We celebrate the dramatic discovery, the big breakthrough, Big successes. When you understand the slight edge, you stop looking for the big successes and you start building step-by-step moment by moment and watch momentum build to create opportunities for you.
We all having a ripple effect of some sort already whether or not we realize it. If you’re an entrepreneur and work for yourself with no boss you have no one making you accountable. If your moods go up and down your actions become inconsistent where you do too much or too little. Our moods can shift and change the impact you have on your business. And overtime can compound and create volatility.
Greatness is always in the moment of decision. You have to decide what it is that you want to create in your life.
Social science research says that as a child, are you heard the word “no” about 40,000 times by the age of five, before you even started first grade. And how many times have you heard the word yes? About 5000. That’s eight times as many no’s as yes’s. Eight times the force holding you down, compare to the force of lifting you up. You have to override the no and focus on yes. You have to push through the barriers and the resistance to create what it is that you would love.
You have to take responsibility for your own life. Blaming someone for your life and your decisions won’t get you anywhere. Don’t complain about what you allow. Take full responsibility for the choices that you make in your life and in your work.
Mastery is the active setting your foot on the path and not in reaching it and it’s the willingness to get on the path and stay on it. It’s doing the steps that are required to achieve it no matter how difficult.
Invest in yourself. Constantly learn about yourself, the world around you and how life works every day. Learn new skills and sharpen old ones. Stay on the personal growth path. Read one chapter of an information rich, inspiring book every day. Listen to 15 minutes of life changing audio. Take a course or seminar every few weeks or months. The simple disciplines will compound over time.
The purpose of investing in yourself is not to accumulate skills or fluency in specific areas of knowledge. While those things are valuable, they are not the principal aim. The principal aim in self investment is to train how you think and what you think. You are shifting your subconscious minds so that it shifts your conscious actions.
Newton’s second law of thermodynamics states a body at rest tends to stay at rest and a body in motion tends to remain in motion. This is why the power of momentum can help you immensely to have the slight edge. That’s why your daily activities are so important. Once you’re in motion it’s easy to keep on keeping on. Once you stop, it’s hard to change from stop to go.
There are three simple yet essential steps to achieving a goal. First, write it down, give a clear description and timeline. Look at it every day. Keep it in your face, soak your subconscious in it. Stop with the plan. Make that plan simple. The point of the plan is not that it will get you there, but you will get you started.
Successful people know the power of planning. If I was given six hours to cut a tree down, I’d spend four hours sharpening my axe. Spend time mastering your planning what you’ll do. Plan then act.
Let’s end with some quick habits that will make a huge difference. Show up. Be consistent. Be committed for the long haul. Cultivate a burning desire.
What can you do to cultivate a burning desire within you?