‘The Slight Edge’ by Jeff Olsen has been a stand out discovery for me. And my thanks must go firstly to Jo Watson Davies of WhatsitDooDah Writing for mentioning it to me last December! There are no Amazon links or affiliate links in this post - based on my own results and judgement I simply recommend that you get a copy - and more importantly - Read It!
Of the many dozens of self-help and personal development volumes that I’ve read over the years, this book is by far the most useful, the text is a model of excellence. Clarity and practicality define every suggestion found within its covers.
I don’t think there are any incredible new secrets hidden within the pages of this book - in fact, I’m pretty sure that most of the core ideas presented have been around in some form or other for years. it’s the way in which those ideas are presented, that for me, elevates this book into the ‘must read’ and ‘must read again’ categories!
The underlying concepts are simple and will be familiar to everyone who has heard of the term compound interest.
Simple daily choices - repeated over time - create big results. That’s it as far as I can see!
Compound interest creates accrued wealth, by constantly reinvesting interest on a rolling basis - in the same way, positive daily choices create large positive benefits over a long period of time. To my mind this is the key differentiator in the book, it stands out from other books in the same field - because the recurring melody throughout the text seems to be about ‘playing the long game’ - not looking for ‘success in 90 days’. The examples given by the author are crystal clear, they underline the slow and steady way in which small changes can produce staggering incremental changes - That’s one of the things I really like about this book. it seems to be based on plain common sense - No doubt I’ve heard it all in the past, prior to reading The Slight Edge - but for some reason, I never really ‘heard’ the message before.
So what effect is the book having on me? I mean a book is just a piece of paper with ink on it unless it produces some change or creates some new action or reaction, isn’t it?
I’ve chosen to implement a few slight edge disciplines to check out the effects for myself.
The Slight Edge Results - After 130 Days
I’ve been trying to implement The Slight Edge philosophy in 4 areas - on a daily Basis, for the last few months here’s a very short digest of what I’ve been up to!
Each day I’m jotting down what I’ve achieved in these various slight edge areas
Gratitude | Exercise | Study | Work
I find the most difficulty with Gratitude - sadly, it’s a struggle for me to find 3 things to be grateful for each day - without sounding trite or contrived or repeating myself - but in it’s own way the effort to think about gratitude achieves a result in its own right - you can’t drive your BMW self [Bitching Moaning and Whining] when you are on Gratitude Street!
- I now start every day in a positive frame of mind
- Problems are easier to keep in perspective
For the last 100 days, I have walked to work and back - it’s 1.4 miles each way - around 25 minutes. i worked up to it over a couple of weeks of the slight edge undertaking ‘to have a walk every day’ I walk at the weekend too - a little less in total, but still, it’s a walk 🙂
- I have lost 2 inches from my waistline
- I save £30 a month in petrol
- I save £30 a month in parking charges
Each day the book suggest that you should ‘read ten pages of a good book every day’ I’ve been doing this all the time.
- There is a saying that you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with - and I find my thought processes ARE improving because I am ‘keeping company’ with positive authors and thought leaders each day
Each day I have set aside a power hour - where I work only ON my business, not IN my business - this involves networking, meeting, blogging and other activities that over time will improve business.
- I have made 400 new contacts
- I am in constant contact with everyone who is important to my business
- Each day my ‘power hour’ makes me focus on the really important stuff that needs to be done
Perhaps you think these are small gains - but remember they are gains made with very little effort on my part - just a few simple choices made every day. And of course the journey in Slight Edge terms is only just beginning for me - What will the results be like after a full year of making those choices?
As the author of ‘The Slight Edge’ says throughout the book the choices are
‘Easy to Do’ or Easy not to Do’