The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success & Happiness

At first glance, Jeff Olson seems to be naming the obvious. The concepts are simple. We nod our heads. It might be easy to gloss over the power of this text.
Simple ideas, simple tasks, repeated consistently over time to create big results.

I have been working on it for weeks now. Consistency over time. Not so simple.
No excuses. I find myself referring to ideas from this book again and again.

(PDF) ONEpage™ Book Summary, by Therese Ducharme
                                                           

"The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be."  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Simple Daily Disciplines = little things that seem insignificant, yet when compounded over time yield very big results.

The same (simple) activities that take you from failure to survival, also take you from survival to success, IF YOU KEEP DOING THEM.

Easy to do, Easy not to do... no immediate feedback. By the time you get feedback, the real work is already done.

It is never too late to start; it is always too late to wait.


First Ingredient for Success = your philosophy
(what you know, how you hold it, how it affects what you do)

Philosophy influences your Attitude which drives your Actions.


The Sight Edge = simple productive actions, repeated consistently over time, lead to success; simple errors in judgment, repeated consistently over time, lead to failure.

The Slight Edge is relentless, either working for (or against) you. The difference is in the actions you repeat, the choices you make.

The Slight edge is about living in the moment - not the past or the future - only right here, right now, in the choices you make.


Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.
It is a process, experienced gradually over time.

Natural Progression in Life: Plant, Cultivate, Harvest. The Slight Edge is cultivation. Be patient, tend your "crop."

It is not any one single action, but the cumulative total of all the sequential, unfailingly consistent actions, that creates movement.

Waiting for the "big break" keeps you from taking the actions you need to create the results you want.

Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do, and that often means living outside your comfort zone.

Formula for Success = Double your rate of failure.


Happiness is not something you pursue, it is something you do.

Doing things that make you happy also makes your life work better. "Be happy and the reason will appear."

"Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success."  ~ Albert Schweitzer

Your attitude (happiness) is the thing that translates your abstract philosophy into your concrete actions.

The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor
  1. Each morning, write down 3 things you are grateful for.
  2. Journal (2 min/day) about one positive experience you've had over the last 24 hours.
  3. Meditate daily for 2 min. (Train the brain to focus.)
  4. Do a random act of kindness every day. Say "thank you."
  5. Exercise for 15 min a day.

Go slow, to go fast.
Start with one, master it, then add another.

You have to start with a "penny." There has to be a beginning.

Add just 1% of skill, knowledge, or effort, every day. At the end of the year, it will have more than tripled.

Greatness is always in the moment of decision.

The Ripple Effect: What you do matters. You make a difference.

Greater success creates greater responsibility.


Everything is in motion. Your life path is either curving up/down.

People on the success curve live in responsibility. People on the failure curve live in blame.

Mastery begins the moment you step onto the path. Failure begins the moment you step off the path.

Resolve the tension between where you are and where you want to be. Close the gap. The choice:

  1. Let go of where you are and move towards your goal.
  2. Let go of your goal, and stay where you are.

On the path to your goal, you will be off course most of the time. The only way to reach the goal is continuous course correction.


Learn by studying, and learn by doing (apply the information). Find a mentor. Learn from their modeling.

You tend to be the combined average of the five people you associate with most. You're all heading in the same direction.

Some are givers (brighten the room with their positive energy), and some are takers (dim the room with lack of excitement.)

Choose your associations carefully. Form a mastermind group. Leverage off one another's success.


Your Allies: Momentum, Completion, Reflection, Celebration

Every incomplete thing drains energy from your life. Give 15 min to Completion (resolution) every day.

At the end of the day, write down what you did do.

Taking action does not equal taking the right action. Reflect, take inventory.

Acknowledge and celebrate your incremental successes.


Erase a bad habit by replacing it with a positive habit.

  1. Show up.
  2. Show up consistently.
  3. Cultivate a positive outlook.
  4. Be committed for the long haul.
  5. Cultivate a burning desire backed by faith (knowing).
  6. Be willing to pay the price.
  7. Practice integrity – do what you said you would.

Three universal steps to achieving a big dream:

  1. Make it specific, give it a deadline, and write it down.
  2. Look at it every day. Soak your subconscious in it.
  3. Start with a plan. Make it simple.

Write out your goals and dreams, a starting plan, and a single daily discipline for each area of your life: Health, Happiness, Relationships, Personal Development, Finance, Career, Impact