I’ve read mountains of self-help books in my life, yet ‘The Slight Edge’ is honestly the most simple, direct and effective book I know.
The premise is simple: add one tiny improvement to your life per day.
“You don’t have to be a genius, you just need to practice one thing with discipline” – Jeff Olson
As author, self-made multimillionaire Jeff Olsen points out, it’s not that people practice the wrong things in their search for personal development, riches, or love, but that they don’t do them on a regular basis.
The Slight Edge is doing that tiny bit extra on a regular basis.
The biggest stumbling block you face at this point now is faith that any methodology will work.
Common blocks to progress include thoughts such as:
‘Surely successful people are just born that way, right?’
And ‘I already know it’s all hard work and determination, what else can you say? Self-help books are just a con.’
There’s no getting around the fact that the buck stops with you, that hard work is the only way, yet as I stated at the top, The Slight Edge is the best, quickest and most effective method in getting there.
You don’t have to be a genius, you just need to practice one thing with discipline.
Whether you are trying to get the dream job, get a six-pack, learn French, or find the girl of your dreams, The Slight Edge philosophy stipulates that you must practice one thing a day that brings you closer to that goal.
Once this is in place, you have to build on that practice.
Say you want to get a six-pack for summer.
What the average guy may do is hammer the gym, tire himself out and hit his wall within a week.
The Slight Edge philosophy states that if you are starting from zero sit-ups a day, you begin with 10.
This is so simple you can easily apply it to your day. The key is that you actually do it once a day at the same time.
However, The Slight Edge comes into play when you move on to the next day, when you must improve on your day before.
Hence, where you did 10 sit-ups on Monday, you do 11 on Tuesday, and so on.
By the end of the week, you have hit 16.
By the end of week 4, you have hit 37.
If you keep following this pattern, by the time you hit 3 months you’ll be around one hundred and, with the correct diet, have a six-pack.
Do the Things That Are Easy (Not) To Do
Olsen states: “The things you do every day, the things that don’t look like they matter, do matter. They not only make a difference – they make all the difference.”
I have written before on the importance of goals (see below piece for reference), and once you have these in place, The Slight Edge philosophy can take full effect.
Just as adding a sit-up a day to your routine can massively impact your six-pack goals in a manageable, incremental fashion, so to can doing the things that are easy to do and easy not to do.
“Successful people do the simple things that are easy to do that others don’t.”
You must locate the areas of your life where you can do little, simple things that others aren’t.
Is it cleaning your desk? Doing the washing up? Fixing a faulty light? Reading 10 minutes a day?
Only you can decide.
Remember: successful people do the simple things that are easy to do that others don’t.
A Way of Life
The grand plan of The Slight Edge philosophy is that you implement simple, incremental disciplines and improvements to every area of your life to such an extant that it in the end becomes a way of life.
At this stage, every part of your life, personal, professional and social, is geared towards maximizing the most positive outcome.
Of course, once you are aware of such knowledge, the onus is on you as to whether you want to be successful by doing the simple things repeatedly, or you are willing to let them slip.
As Olson states: “That’s the choice you face everyday, every hour: A simple, positive action, repeated over time. A simple error in judgement, repeated over time.”
The choice is yours.