As I dive deeper into The Slight Edge, this philosophy slowly integrating into my life. The best example of this is writing A Marley Party. I’ve had many blogs in my lifetime, but none that I’ve actually worked this hard at. None that I’ve actually taken the time to sit and write every day, work on every day, research for every single day. It’s keeping me on my toes, creating a worthwhile habit, and is becoming very beneficial! In fact, I’ll be reviewing another book soon because someone saw these reviews – HOW COOL IS THAT?!
Let’s dive in to chapters 4-6 and see what Jeff Olson has to offer.
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Chapter 4: Master the Mundane
Chapter 4 starts with the story of Olson meeting a shoe shiner at an airport. He talked with her about what her goals and dreams are and how one day she’ll get there. He noticed she was filling her extra time with reading romance novels instead of actually doing something about her goals and dreams. That was the moment he decided to write The Slight Edge.
He talks about the 5 percent. The 5% of people who are actually happy and successful. These 1 out of 20 people achieve a level of success and fulfillment that they hope for. What do the other 95% of people do? They fall short. They don’t do the thing. They give up on the mundane tasks that will end up making them successful. “The difference between these two groups of people”, Olson states, “is the slight edge.”
So why don’t people consistently do those simple, mundane tasks? Olson gives us 3 reasons:
1) While they’re easy to do, they are also easy not to do.
2) You don’t see any results at first
3) They seem insignificant, they don’t matter. But they do.Page 62, Chapter 4
My mundane tasks I don’t do: Making my bed. Getting to work on time. Finishing a book. Working out.
My mundane tasks I do: My night-time routine. Writing every day. Doing my hair & make-up. Using my planner.
I suggest you make both these lists and add-on to them as you find them. You’ll soon realize the tasks you don’t do every day are easily doable – it just takes the slight edge.
Chapter 5: Slow Down to Go Fast
Making the decision to eat breakfast every day or read 10 pages a day is easy. Actually doing the action is a lot harder. Especially on day 3 or 4 or week 1 or 2. In Chapter 5, Olson talks about the power of time. Time is our ally in the slight edge philosophy.
Instant fixes are not a part of the slight edge. People plant seeds and harvest, but haven’t reaped anything. Everyone misses the cultivation period where actual work comes in. This step takes place only with our ally: time.
The Slight Edge is boring – Jeff Olson’s words, not mine! Taking the time to plant your seed, wait.. wait.. wait.. wait.. and OH there it is! There is my prize! It took 7 years, 4 months, and 19 weeks – but it’s here! There isn’t instant gratification with the slight edge. It’s a learned discipline.
I’m going through a pretty trying season right now. My poor decisions are starting to build – it took time (2 years in fact) – but they’ve finally come to fruition. Now I’m paying for it – literal $$$. However, now I have the chance to create new choices. Writing every day. Reading every other day. Making home-cooked meals. Taking a shower (yes, I really have to make the conscious choice). My positive choices are going to make a difference. It make take another two years, and I’ll mess-up in between there, but it’ll happen for me. The slight edge says so.
Chapter 6: Don’t Fall for the Quantum Leap
Okay… I’m not too sure about this Olson guy. He knocks Disney right off the bat in chapter 6! He quotes Snow White with, “someday my prince will come,” when he speaks of people looking for their quantum leap. “Waiting for ‘someday’ is no strategy for success,” Olson states, “it’s a cop-out.”
There is no “big-break” for any of us. Every once and a while people happen to land it big or win the lottery – but these people still don’t use the slight edge philosophy after their fortune and fame. They fall off, make destructive compounded choices, and end right back where they began. Someday does not exist. Breaks don’t happen. Quantum leaps are not real.
The difference between winning and losing, the gap that separates success and failure, is so slight, so subtle, that most never see it.Page 87, Chapter 6
As I delve deeper into this book, I’m taking a glance at areas around my life I need to apply the philosophy to. I can make small, impactful choices in my relationships and I know they would be 100% more fruitful.
I’m ready to learn more and I can’t believe I haven’t read this book sooner. Next review, I will be updating my mundane tasks and I suggest you do the same. Let’s see how good we’ve been at applying the slight edge to our lives.
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All quotes/paraphrases/paragraphs: Olson, Jeff. The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success and Happiness. Goko Publishing, 2016.