The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson is a book that has completely changed my life, and I know it can do the same to anyone who reads it with an open mind.
The essential theme of this book is that every little thing you do matters. Although you may not see immediate results today, everything you do is accumulating into consequences. These decisions we make are easy to do and easy not to do. It’s easy to drink an extra water bottle a day. However, it’s also easy not to do. The choice is yours- as well as your future.
Your philosophy is the way you view and think about the world. Everything flows out of your philosophy. You can hear how people think about the world by the way they speak.
For example, if someone is constantly blaming outside circumstances for their current life situation, you know that their philosophy is that they believe they are not responsible for the outcome of their life.
However, if a person believes that they are responsible for everything in their life, you’ll find that this person is usually the one that goes the extra mile. This is the person that gets up early and exercises or invests in the learning tools they need, such as books and courses.
What if someone’s philosophy is that it doesn’t matter what they eat? Or that food is simply for pleasure. This person won’t be hard to spot because they’re more than likely overweight or sick. The reason for that is it does matter what we eat. Food isn’t simply for taste, but for fuel. Yet, unless that person changes the way they think about food, their health status will never change.
As you can see, your philosophy is extremely important. It’s what determines how you act, which determines how your life ends up.
In today’s world, everybody wants to get instant results. Unfortunately, that’s not how things were created. For example, how silly would it be for a farmer to plant a seed and then expect to see a plant grow out of the ground immediately? We all know that sounds ridiculous.
However, there are many people today who have the same expectations about their life. They think they can begin doing the right things for a few weeks and have their life be dynamically be changed. That’s why so many people begin something and then quit.
That’s just now how things work. You must make the right decision every day for years to get the results that you desire. Now, of course, there are things that won’t take that long. It doesn’t take years to lose 30 pounds. If you make the right choices daily, you can see those results rather quickly.
Nonetheless, there are some things that can take years. Investing money to become a millionaire can take years or even decades. It’s about making the constant decision every day to do those things which will ultimately bring you the life you desire.
#3. Invest In Yourself
We’ve already spoken a bit about philosophy, but because everything we do flows from there we have to revisit this topic.
There are many ways to invest in yourself. One way is to evaluate your philosophy. Does it really reflect who you are or have you picked up a lot of what you believe about the world from other people?
We learn a lot of things from our parents, teachers, friends, and other outside influences. But how many of the thoughts we continuously think are actually from yourself?
Do this for the rest of the day: take inventory of your thoughts. Is what you’re thinking beneficial to you or harmful? Where did it come from? Do you really believe that it’s true? If not, chuck it and replace it with a thought that you do believe in.
Another key way to invest in yourself is to become a student. Always push yourself to learn more. Read more books about where you want to grow. Study communication, marriage, wealth, language, healthy living, or whatever thing you desire to grow in. This is the true key to success.
Invest in books, courses, seminars, and whatever else you can get your hands on. Become an expert at living you will see massive results. Learn how to live well. And not only learn, but apply. True wisdom comes from experience.
#4. Let The Past Go
So many people meditate on the past and allow their past to control them. By focusing on the past, you’re ignoring your present. Your future is way more important than your past, but if you continue to focus on something you cannot change then your future potential is at risk.
The only time you should reflect on your past is to gain a lesson or insight. That’s it. The past cannot help you any more than that. Therefore, if there are things in your past that you regret, let it go. If there are people who did you wrong, let it go. You’re in control of your future, not your past.
Also, many people give up and refuse to try again because of previous circumstances. They’ll give the excuse of, “I tried that before and I wasn’t good at it” or something similar to that. However, that’s also not a valid excuse to stay stuck in your current situation.
If you want something and you fail, then try again. Do it as long as it takes to be successful and you will see the fruits of your labor.
#5. Everything You Do Matters
Since you are the only one responsible for the way your life turns out, then it’s safe to say that everything you do matters. Every decision and choice you make today matters. Does it matter if you eat a salad or a cheeseburger? You better believe it does.
Just because you cannot see instant results does not mean that you haven’t started pushing the ball into a certain direction. Eating a cheeseburger is easy to do and easy not to do. However, if you eat a cheeseburger every day for thirty years you will one day see the fruits of your planted seeds.
What kind of seeds are you planting?
Another good tip is to start small. You have to begin somewhere. Don’t radically change your life overnight. Decide one small area to begin, such as choosing the salad over the cheeseburger. If you’re going to begin saving and investing, begin with one penny.
When people come up with huge extravagant plans that require a lot of preparation and energy to carry out, they usually fail. You have to keep it simple and easy. You want to come up with something that you can easily implement day after day without losing your fire of desire.
For example, if you want to start working out then begin with fifteen minutes a day. I’m sure you can do that. Don’t try to start by working out one hour a day 5 days a week. That’ll make you burn out and give up entirely. No, we want you to stick with whatever you decide for yourself. After you begin with 15 minutes a day for a few days a week, then go up to 20. Then 30.
If you’ve ever read the story of the tortoise and the hare, you will know that slow and steady wins the race. But you have to make sure that you keep on keeping on until you achieve the life you desire.
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson is a really great book. There’s no way I could truly capture the greatness of that book in just one short blog post. That’s why I truly recommend that you get the book for yourself and read it. Let’s take a quick review at the five lessons I decided to pull from this book and speak on:
- Change your philosophy
- How to view time
- Invest in yourself
- Get out of the past
- Everything you do matters.
Thanks for reading!