On The Slight Edge

I recently finished reading The Slight Edge – Secret to a Successful Life by Jeff Olson.

Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- “The Slight Edge is not just more good information. It’s not another self-help success book packed with some revolutionary “new best way” of doing things. You don’t need that. Nobody needs that. All the “new and better” information is already available and has been for years. This book is designed to help you use that information. This book is what I wish will help you take whatever information you want, whatever how-to’s or strategies or goals or aspiration you want.”

2- “A positive philosophy turns into a positive attitude, which turns into positive actions, which turns into positive results, which turns into a positive lifestyle. A negative philosophy turns into a negative attitude, which turns into negative actions, which turns into negative results, which turns into a negative lifestyle.”

3- “By and large, people are looking in the wrong places. They are looking for a breakthrough, looking for that amazing “quantum leap”—the philosophy of the craps table and roulette wheel. I don’t believe they’ll ever find it. I’ve had colossal failures, and I’ve had remarkable successes, and my experience is, neither one happens in quantum leaps. They happen through the Slight Edge…That the things you do every single day,  the things that don’t look dramatic, that don’t even look like they matter, do matter. That they not only make a difference—they make all the difference.”

4- “It’s easy to have everything you ever wanted in your life. Every action you need to take to make any and all of your dreams come true is easy. So why is it, then, that the masses are unhappy, unhealthy and financially bound? Every action that any of these goals requires is easy to do. Here’s the problem: every action that is easy to do, is also easy not to do. Why are these simple yet crucial things easy not to do? Because if you don’t do them, they won’t kill you … at least, not today. You won’t suffer, or fail or blow it—today. Something is easy not to do when it won’t bankrupt you, destroy your career. ruin your relationships or wreck your health—today. What’s more, not doing it is usually more comfortable than doing it would be. But that simple, seemingly insignificant error in judgment, compounded over time, will kill you. It will destroy you and ruin your chances for success. You can count on it. It’s the Slight Edge. That’s the choice you face every day, every hour: A simple, positive action, repeated over time. A simple error in judgment, repeated over time. You can always count on the Slight Edge. And unless you make it work for you, the Slight Edge will work against you.”

5- “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. “Progressive” means success is a process, not a destination. It’s something you experience gradually, over time. And here’s how real success is built: by the time you get the feedback, the real work’s already done. When you get to the point where everyone else can see your results, tell you what good choices you’ve made, notice your good fortune, slap you on the back and tell you how lucky you are, the critical Slight Edge you actually made those choices, nobody noticed but you. And even you wouldn’t have noticed—unless you understood the Slight Edge. Invisible results.”

6- “The right choices and wrong choices you make at the moment will have little or no noticeable impact on how your day goes for you. Nor tomorrow, nor the next day. No applause, no cheers, no screams, no life-or-death results played out in Technicolor. But it is precisely those very same, undramatic. seemingly insignificant actions that, when compounded over time. will dramatically affect how your life turns out. So, where’s the drama? It comes at the end of the story, when the credits start to roll—which comes not in two hours but in two years. Or, depending on what Slight Edge and what particular story we’re talking about, perhaps twelve years, or twenty-two.”

7- “No success is immediate. Nor is any failure instantaneous. They are both products of the Slight Edge. The truth of quantum leaps is that they are not larger than life: they’re submicroscopic. The actual term “quantum leap” comes from particle physics, where it does not refer to a huge, epic jump. It refers to the fact that energy, after a period of time. epic jump. It refers to the fact that energy, after a period off time. will suddenly appear at another level, without our having been able to observe how it got there. It is an exact description of how the water hyacinth moves from day twenty-nine to day thirty. An exact description of how the frog’s certain death by drowning was suddenly transformed into salvation by butter.”

8- “No matter in what arena in life or work or play—the difference between winning and losing, the gap that separates success and failure, is so slight, so subtle, most never see it. Superman may leap tall buildings at a single bound. Here on earth, we win through the Slight Edge.”

9- “One of the quickest and most direct routes to getting yourself up and onto the success curve is to get out of the past. Review the past, but only for the purpose of making a better plan. Review it. understand and take responsibility for the errors you’ve made, and use it as a tool to do differently in the future. And don’t spend a great deal time doing even that!—the future is a far better tool than the past. m the past. Devote some serious, focused time and effort into designing a crystal-clear picture of where you’re going. In the second part of this book, we’ll take a look at specific ways to help you do exactly that. For now, I’ll just say this: when you do have a clear picture of the future and consciously put time every day into letting yourself be drawn forward by that future, it will pull you through whatever friction and static you encounter in the present—and whatever tugging and clutching you may feel from the past…You can’t change the past. You can change the future. Would you rather be influenced by something you can’t change, or something you can?”

10- “In my line of work, I talk a lot about success in financial terms. But genuine success is a far greater issue than purely financial health. A genuinely successful life means your health, your family relationships, your career, your spirituality, your sense of fulfillment, your legacy and the impact you have on the world. It’s all these things and more. And the best thing about genuine success is that it spreads! Success in any one of these areas begins to affect all the others, too. Improve your health and you improve your all the others, too. Improve your health and you improve your relationships; work on your personal development and you have an impact on your career. Everything affects everything.”

11- “Book smarts, street smarts. Learning by study, learning by doing. Read about it, apply it, see it in action, take that practical doing. Read about it, apply it, see it in action, take that practical experience back to my reading, deepen my understanding, take that deeper understanding back to my activity … it’s a never-ending cycle, each aspect of learning feeding the other. Like climbing a ladder: right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot. Can you imagine trying to climb a ladder with only your right foot? The two work together. What’s more they not only work better together, each amplifying the other, but the truth is, they really cannot work separately. At least not for long. You can’t go to the top based purely on knowledge learned in study; you can’t go to the top purely through knowledge gleaned through action. The two have to work together. You study, and then you do activity. The activity changes your frame of reference. and now you are in a place where you can learn more. Then you learn more, and it gives you more insight into what you experienced in your activity, so now you re-approach activity with more insight. And back and forth, it goes. This back-and-forth rhythm is worth noting. It is the rhythm of success.”

12- “Having compassion and having direction are not mutually exclusive: they just take careful thought and discernment. You’re not judging those people; you’re simply asking yourself to be honest about whether or not those relationships are empowering you and helping to support your purpose and realize your dreams.”

13- “For a goal to come true: You must write it down, make it specific and give it a deadline; You must look at it every day; You must understand and pay the price; You must have a plan to start with.”

14- “You Start with a plan, then go through the process of continuous learning through both study and doing, adjusting all the time through the kaizen of plan, do, review and then adjust—like a rocket to the moon, off track ninety-seven percent of the time. your gyroscope feeding information to your dream computer to bring you back on track … You need a first plan so you can get to our second plan, so you can get to your third plan, so you can get to your fourth plan…Your starting plan is not the plan that will ultimately get you there … but you need it so you have a place to start.”   

15- “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do; they put the Slight Edge to work for them, rather than against hem, every day. They refuse to let themselves be swayed by their feelings, moods or attitudes; they rule their lives by their philosophies, and do what it takes to get the job done, whether they feel like it or not.”

16- “Successful people never blame circumstances or other people; instead, they take full responsibility for their lives. They use the past as a lesson but do not dwell in it, and instead, let themselves be pulled up and forward by the compelling force of the future. They know that the path that leads to the success curve and the one that leads to the failure curve are only a hair’s breadth apart. separated only by the distinction of simple, “insignificant” actions that are just as easy not to do as they are to do—and that this difference will ultimately make all the difference.”

Regards,

Omar Halabieh

The Slight Edge

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