The Slight Edge

slight-edgeThe Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness

by Jeff Olson

The lessons of this book are simple. But applying them is not easy. If they were, there would be more successful people.

The slight edge is the ability to take focused actions over time to acheive big results.

Just like practicing piano every day. Put in an hour a day and you’ll get a little better at first. But continue that daily for 10 years and you’ll be world class.

My takeaways here may be a little repetitive. The book itself said the same message over and over in different ways. It’s not, however, a sign of new ideas to tell. Only that the main idea is incredibly important.

  • When faced with failure, most people will work hard to get out of that state. But once they are able to survive, they stop those actions and slowly descend toward failure again.
  • If you can survive, you can succeed. You already know how to get there.
  • You can’t control how you feel, but you can control what you do.
  • Key to success: Double your rate of failure.
  • For financial success, create a discipline of saving and investing intelligently.
  • The result of tiny choices over time compound into big consequences. For better or worse.
  • Perseverance is a great substitute for talent.
  • Success comes from disciplined repetition of mundane, simple things.
  • The difference between the successful and the unsuccessful is the application of knowledge everyone already has.
  • Simple actions that compound over time are easy not to do because there’s no immediate consequence or benefit. But there will be one eventually.
  • Undramatic actions over time create dramatic results.
  • Just because you can’t see results yet doesn’t mean what you’re doing isn’t working.
  • What you do now does matter.
  • Stop looking for a miracle. Be the miracle.
  • Happiness creates success. Not the other way around.
  • Daily habits to create happiness: write something you’re grateful for, journal about positive events, meditate, acts of kindness, exercise.
  • Adding 1% improvment per day means tripling your results after a year.
  • Whether you know it or not, the slight edge is always affecting you.
  • The state of mind of success: responsibility. Of failure: blame.
  • Unsuccessful people tend to dwell on the past. Successful ones, the future.
  • You’re either on the upward path or the downward one. There is no middle.
  • People fail because they become too grown-up to take baby steps.
  • It’s just as easy to go back to a habit of succeeding as it is to one of failing.
  • Apollo rockets were slightly off course more often than they were on. Arriving is about constant course corrections, not getting it right from the start.
  • The plan you start with will not be the plan that gets you to your destination. And it is foolish to try to make it that. Create and execute a plan that gets you started before anything else.
  • The power of a plan is not that it will get you to your destination. The power is that it will get you started.
  • Identify a vision, then make a simple plan with simple daily actions — for every area of your life.
Very powerful concepts. Simple, but not easy.