It was after one of my gym workout sessions that my trainer and a bunch of us got talking about how important it is to also work on our mental health, along with our physical health. He had recommended a book to us, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen. This was two years ago and I just managed to get my hand on this book and had a go at it…and I loved it!
The Slight Edge may seem like your typical self-help book, but it’s not. This particular book actually is a “catalyst that will help you put that good information to use. It is the missing ingredient you need for all the personal development books, how-to’s, and life guides to work.” (page 24). In short, the writer helps us implement all the information that we have, something a lot of self-growth books don’t do. He shows us how we can use daily habits to discipline ourselves to achieving happiness and success.
As per his statistics, only 5% of the population (in the US) use the Slight Edge, the remaining 95% don’t know how to master the technique.
I will not be getting into all the details that the writer shares with us (will take up too much space here), but there were a couple of things that stood out for me.
- Philosophy: Olsen argues that many times we fail to achieve what we set out to achieve when we see a new diet plan, or a new self-help book because we lack the philosophy behind our reason to change. We need to have a strong conviction on why we need to change, and so that becomes your philosophy in life.
- Successful people fail their way to the top.
- No genuine success is instant.
- Simple daily life disciplines will help you go a long way
- Invest in yourself
- Mentors are important
The first part of the book explains what the Slight Edge is. The writer helps us in understanding the concept, and why successful people are able to implement the Slight Edge where others fail to do so. The writer also shares his own personal story of failures and how he was able to work his way to the top, using the slight edge principles.
The second part of the book basically covers ways and methods of how to live according to the Slight Edge and practical ways to apply it to your life. Again, there is enough information, too much for me to share here, that one can learn to apply in their own lives. Nothing is hard, or too complicated; it’s actually all very do-able and easy to follow, if only we implement them.
Successful people- A Summary
Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do
Successful people don’t look for shortcuts, nor do they hope for the “big breaks.”
Successful people never blame circumstances or other people; instead, they take full responsibility for their lives.
Successful people know how to use the natural tension to close the gap from point A, where they are to point B, where they want to be.
Successful people practice daily disciplines
Successful people focus on having a positive outlook
Successful people use inertia to build momentums
Successful people acquire the three kinds of knowledge they need to succeed
Successful people are always asking: Who am I spending time with?
Successful people read at least ten pages of a powerful, life-transforming book or listen to at least fifteen minutes of educational and inspirational audio every day.
Successful people go to work on their philosophy first.
What it all comes down is you taking responsibility for your own choices and actions. You have that power and control to choose your actions, how you want to react, how you want to use your time– it’s all in your control. We may not know or understand how to practically work with newfound knowledge, which is where the book will help.
How well we implement our philosophy in life will determine our success in life, and as Olsen says, when we learn to adopt the Slight Edge, cross over to become successful.