The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson is a book that is a must read for not only people looking to improve their lives, but for people who need motivation and support.
I could sum up “The Slight Edge” in a few sentences: success is built by making tiny daily decisions that lead you in the direction you want to be. Every action you take either moves you toward or away from success. The actions are all “easy to do, but also easy NOT to do.” Just like how a penny, doubled each day, increases slowly at first and then builds to be a fortune over time, so can your small, easy actions (like saying no to that daily latte) lead you to success over time (being FI).
Powerful quotes from the book about time, daily actions and the importance of reading
1. About time: “Fundamentally, we all take pretty much the same actions every day. For example, every day we eat, sleep, think, feel, talk and listen. We have relationships and friendships, but everybody have twenty-four hours a day, 8,760 hours a year. So when you say you don’t have time to do something that would make you grow next time, are you really sure about that? Because that’s what is between you and the success you’re dreaming about”.
2. About daily actions: “Not doing it is usually more comfortable than doing it would be. But that simple, seemingly insignicant error in judgment, compounded over time, will kill you. It will destroy you and ruin your chances for success, but 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”
3. About why you should read every day: “Here’s a Slight Edge action guaranteed to change your life: read just ten pages of a good book, a book aimed at improving your life, every day. “If you read ten pages of a good book today, will your life change? Of course not.
However, if you don’t read ten pages of a good book today, will your life fall apart? Of course not. In conclusion, like a penny over time, reading ten pages a day would compound, just like that, and create a ten-million-dollar bank of knowledge in you. Would you do it? On day 1, sure. And day 2. And maybe day 3. But would you still be doing it by the end of the week?
If you did keep reading, over the course of the year you would have read 3,650 pages—the equivalent of one or two dozen books of life-transforming material! Would your life have changed? Absolutely. No question. But here, back in week 1, all that’s still an invisible result.
Powerful quotes from the book about slowing down, waiting and the power of today
4. About calming down: “We live in a result-focused world, but we expect to see results, and we expect to see them now. Push the button, the light ticks on. Step on the scale, look in the mirror, check the account balance online 24/7. Give me feedback, trip a sensor, hit a buzzer, tell me, tell me, tell me it’s working!”
Editors note: This is really relevant for index funds, so give it time to work out! Automate your finances, and stop checking it all the time! Because you’re not going to sell now, are you?
5. About waiting: “My point is simply that there is a cost to waiting. It’s never too late to start. It’s always too late to wait”.
6. About compounding: “The truth is, what you do matters. What you do today matters. What you do every day matters. Successful people just do the things that seem to make no difference in the act of doing them and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.
Those little things that will make you successful in life, that will secure your health, your happiness, your fullfilment, your dreams, are simple, subtle, tiny things that nobody will see, nobody will applaud, nobody will even notice. But they are those things that, at the time you do them, often feel like they make absolutely no difference … like they don’t matter. They do”
7. About staying the course no matter what: “Position your daily actions so time is working for instead of against you. Because time will either promote you or expose you. What keeps you on the path is your Slight Edge philosophy, which includes your understanding of the secret of time.
Knowing the secret of time, you say, If I stay on this road long enough, I’ll get the result I seek.” Editors note: Keep investing every month, and after a while (time) you will eventually become a millionaire. It’s easy, but most people won’t stand the race.
8. About choices: “The right choices you make today, compounded over time, will take you higher and higher up the success curve of this real-time movie called “your life. However, you have to do tiny steps each day.”
Powerful quotes from the book about why you should start now and the amazing results it will lead to
9. About getting started: “No matter what you have done in your life up until today, no matter where you are and how far down you may have slid on the failure curve, you can start fresh, building a positive pattern of success, at any time. Including right now.”
10. About results: How long will it take to see the results? How long before you will have the experience of the success you’re seeking? Obviously, it’s impossible for either of us to say exactly how long. But the truth is, in three to five years, you can put virtually anything in your life onto the right track.
Think of what you were doing three years ago: it seems like yesterday, doesn’t it? However, three years from now, the things you’re doing right now will seem like only yesterday, too. Yet this brief little period of time can change your life. When the time arrives, you’ll be astonished at how quick it seemed.
11. About achieving your dreams: “To accomplish anything worth accomplishing, to create success, to achieve your dreams, you don’t have to do impossible, extraordinary, superhuman things. But you have to do something. You have to start with a penny. And that penny will add another penny, and then another. And before you know it you’ve got more than you can imagine”
12. About improving yourself:“What if you were able to improve yourself, today, just three-tenths of one percent? That’s a 0.003 improvement—a very Slight Edge indeed. So slight, in fact, you might have a hard time even knowing how to measure it. Now, what if you did that again tomorrow, and the next day, and kept it up every day for the next year? Remember, you’re not going to add up compound interest this time, you’re just adding on another three-tenths of one percent each day.
Here’s what will happen. The first day you’ll improve by 0.003, so little it will probably be impossible to notice. The second day, your improvement will be 0.006; the next day, 0.009, almost a full one percent. And by the end of the year, you will have improved by one hundred percent. Doubled.
You will be twice what you are today—twice as fit, twice as wealthy, twice as skilled, twice as happy … twice as whatever it is you’ve been working on, in whatever areas you apply your daily three-tenths-percent effort. In conclusion twice the you, in just one year!“
Powerful quotes which makes you want to work hard and gain massive success
13. About procrastination:
Some Day …
-when I got the money …
-If I have time …
-when I develop the skill, the confidence …
How many of those statements have you said to yourself? I’ve got some shocking news for you: “some day” doesn’t exist, never has, and never will. There is no “some day.” There’s only today. When tomorrow comes, it will be another today; so will the next day. They all will. There is never anything but today. And some more shocking news: your ship’s not coming— in other words, it’s already here. Docked and waiting.
So you already have the money. You already have the time. The skills you need you already got and also the confidence. You already have everything you need to achieve everything you want. You just can’t see it. Why not? Because you’re looking in the wrong place. You’re looking for the breakthrough, the quantum leap. You’re looking for the winning lottery ticket in a game that isn’t a lottery!”
14. About showing up every day: “Woody Allen, the famous playwright, once said that 80 percent of success
is showing up. I am one that subscribes to this philosophy wholeheartedly. You have already won half the battle if you will commit in showing up every day, but the rest is left up to skill, knowledge, drive and execution.”
15. About The Slight Edge: “Let’s summarize where we are so far. First, we need to show up, be consistent and have a good attitude. The fourth Slight Edge principle is to practice these principles for a long period of time.
Just as a farmer has to wait a full season to reap his harvest, you must do the same. In my opinion, this is the hardest principle for our microwave and fast-food culture to deal with because we want instant results now, not in 120 days or a year from now!“
16. About success: “That’s the reason why I wrote The Slight Edge, to show people there is no shortcut to success. No matter what you are trying to accomplish, you need to ask yourself, am I willing to put in 10,000 hours or more to get what I want?”
17. About living in the present: “It seems most people live with one foot in the past, saying “Only if things had been different, I would be successful.” And the other foot in the future, saying “When this or that happens I will be happy/successful. But what about the now?”
And they completely ignore the present, but that is all we really have. It’s only the decisions that you make in the moment that are Slight Edge decisions.”
18. About reaching goals: “Have you lost the ability to make up a goal, go for it and get it? Why don’t you do what you did when you were just a year old? The answer is both simple and sad: somewhere along the way, you lost faith. You became too grown-up to take baby steps, too sure you would never succeed to let yourself fail a few times first.
You gave up on the universal truth that simple little disciplines, done again and again over time, would move the biggest mountains.”
19. About gaining momentum: “The fable of the tortoise and the hare is really about the remarkable power of momentum. For example: A body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to remain in motion. That’s why your activity is so important.
Powerful quotes about reaching your full potential
Once you’re in motion, it’s easy to keep on keeping on. Once you stop, it’s hard to change from stop to go.”
20. About living your own dreams: “Everybody’s busy. Everyone does the actions. But were they the right actions? Were those actions productive? Did you take a step forward? These are questions that most people never take the time to think about.
Did you eat well, or did you eat badly? And who did you associate with today? Did they empower you? And if yes, how? In what way? Did you listen to good information today, or just zone out to the music? Did you engage in positive conversation, or did you gossip or complain?
What did you read that contributed to your success today? Did you do any of the things unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do? However, whose dream did you build today—yours or somebody else’s?“
21. About going in the right direction: “The reason “birds of a feather “flock together” is simply that they’re all going in the same direction, headed for the same destination. However, look at the people with whom you “flock”, the company you keep: what destination are they headed for? And is that where you want to be headed?”
22. About fearing to start something: “People make the mistake of thinking they need the perfect plan. In other words here is no perfect plan. By definition, there can’t be, because a plan is not getting there—it’s only your jumping-off point.
23. About the simple things you have to do:“Don’t try to figure out the whole race. Just figure out where to put your foot for the starting line. Just start. The result looks incredibly complex, but it’s not; it never is. But it’s always the simple little things that take you there.“
24. About daily diciplines that will lead to success: “What one simple, single, easy-to-do activity can you do, day in and day out, that will have the greatest impact on your health, personal development, relationships, finances and your life itself?
Examine what they mean to you and where your dreams lie in each; and then lay out for yourself your dreams as goals (specific, vivid and with a timeline); the price you’re willing to pay; a plan to start; and finally, one simple daily discipline that you will commit to doing each and every day from now on.
Editors note: This last bullet point pretty much sums up the book.
“The Slight Edge” is a book that is a must read for not only people looking to improve their lives, but for people who need motivation and support. is a book that seems like it holds all the greatest wisdom you’ve never heard of, when in reality Jeff is only telling you all the stuff you already know, you just don’t want to accept it. But the beauty of it is in the way he communicates these truths and helps you see them in a new light.
Little decisions really do matter. They won’t equal success or failure right now, or even a year from now, but compounded over time, the thousands of little decisions you made WILL DETERMINE the ending of the story. As Jeff so blatantly points out; all of us claim to understand the power of compounding, but based on the results we see in our lives, it’s clear that 95% of us don’t truly grasp the concept.
“The Slight Edge” will help you reframe your thinking so that in all those little decisions you can take a step back, gain the clarity you need to decide if this decision puts you on the path of failure or the path of success (there is no neutral path), and then act accordingly. And if you do that, you’re basically guaranteed to gain the results you want.
To gain the results you want you need goals. In the next post I will tell you about my goals for 2019.
What are your goals? And what do you think about the book? Read more about “The Slight Edge” here.