The Slight Edge says the things we do or don’t do every day, compound over time to move us closer or farther away from our goals.

While it may not seem like a lot if you just decide to take it easy for a day or two, over time this actually has a massive effect. Just improving yourself by .1% every single day, will add up tremendously over time.

The Slight Edge is a philosophy. It is a way of thinking. The Slight Edge is, therefore, an important tool or processor of information in the self-help world.

“This book can be described as the how-to of all the how-to’s out there.”

The author emphasizes how there is so much information out there and somehow people’s lives are not changing. The Slight Edge is, therefore, a way of taking this information and implementing it in your life. It is a way of processing the information in the self-help books.

  • Our results and lifestyle are because of our actions
    • Our actions are due to our attitudes
      • And our attitudes are due to our philosophy

The Seven Slight Edge Principles can be used every day for your personal and business life. They are:

1. Show Up:

“Be the frog who not only decides to jump off the lily pad,” writes Olson, “but actually jumps”.

Believe it or not, showing up means winning half the battle – because basically one out of two people don’t.

“The world is rife with hesitation,” comments Olson, and, unfortunately, hesitation is “the cornerstone of mediocrity.”

You don’t want to live a life of not trying.

As “Nike” says – just do it.

You’ll have plenty of time to think about it later.

Be Consistent:

80% of success may be showing up – as Woody Allen famously quipped once – but only if it means showing up consistently.

If you will commit to showing up consistently,” notes Olson, “every day, no matter what, then you have already won well more than half the battle. The rest is up to skill, knowledge, drive, and execution.

How do you measure effectiveness if what you are measuring isn’t performed consistently? Be consistent.

3. Have a Good Attitude:

If you had a nickel every time some self-help author told you this – well, you’ll have a lot of nickels!

But, have you ever wondered why so many people have written volumes and volumes about the power of positive thinking?

There’s a simple reason: it works!

So, from now on, the glass isn’t just half full – it’s overflowing!

And when I say “from now on,” I mean starting today!

“Each of us has the ability to put our unique human potential into action and to acquire a desired result. But the one thing that determines the level of our potential—that produces the intensity of our activity and predicts the quality of the result we receive—is our attitude.”

– Jim Rohn

4. Be Committed for a Long Period of Time:

From Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” to Matthew Syed’s “Bounce”, they all say the same: if you put in about 10,000 hours of practice, no endeavor is impossible.

That’s about eight hours a day, forty hours a week, fifty weeks a year, for five years.

Are you willing to sacrifice as much to excel in something?

Jim Rohn also relates to the Biblical story, The Parable of the Sower. The sower committed to sowing seed regardless of the outcome. Keep sowing, sowing and sowing (thus making it a habit) and you’ll eventually reap the harvest.

5. Have Faith and a Burning Desire:

The power of “desire backed by faith” is what Napoleon Hill said was the driving force behind all successful people.

I believe in the power of desire backed by faith,” he wrote in his unforgettable classic, “Think and Grow Rich,” because I have seen this power lift men from lowly beginnings to places of power and wealth; I have seen it rob the grave of its victims; I have seen it serve as the medium by which men staged a comeback after having been defeated in a hundred different ways.

Another important tip is to be specific about what you want and write it down!

“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, and the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”

– Napoleon Hill

6. Be Willing to Pay the Price:

If you want to put 10,000 hours into something you will have to put a lot less into something else. That’s just how it goes. But it’s not that bad: it ultimately more than pays off. It’s just something you need to be aware of. That way – and that way only – you’ll be able to live in the present.

Jeff Olson says, “Anything worth having is worth working and paying a price for.

Zig Zilar said; “You do not pay the price of success, you enjoy the price of success.

Following the Slight Edge Principles will keep you on track.

7. Practice Slight Edge Integrity:

Edgar Guest, America’s beloved English-born People’s Poet, once wrote a great little poem called My Creed.”

Among its lines, there’s a famous distich you should take really seriously: “to be the same when I’m alone/ As when my every deed is known.”

That’s called integrity.

Integrity and character are demonstrated as by what you do when no one’s looking. Be true to yourself first.

The compounding effect of the Slight Edge Principles works both ways.

What’s easy to do is also easy not to do.

Success is a compilation of small daily decisions. Missing a day or two or three might go unnoticed for a while but the compounding effect of good and bad decisions eventually work for you or against you.

Key Lessons from “The Slight Edge”

1. The Simple Philosophy of the Slight Edge

If you save a penny today and double the amount you save each passing day, by the end of the month, you will have earned £10 million pounds!

If you improve in any area of your choice just 1% on a daily basis, by the end of the given year, you will be 365% better!

That’s the essence of the slight edge philosophy: steady wins the race.

Or, in other words, by making the same small step day by day – in time, you’ll have walked a thousand miles.

Laozi said that.

And he was a smart guy.

2. The Three Simple Steps to Your Dreams

Achieving a goal is nothing difficult.

It’s based on three simple steps.

First, you need to write it down and give the goal both a what and a when (i.e., a clear, detailed description, and a specific timeline).

Then, don’t forget about it. Look at it every day, and “soak your subconscious in it.”

Finally, start with a plan. May it be as simple as possible in the beginning. Remember – the point, for now, is to start acting.


A Final Thought

The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success, written by Jeff Olson, is quite an amazing book with a ton of real world advice that you can use daily. The major point is understanding that anyone can have a slight edge in their life by doing the small tasks in life that unsuccessful people neglect to follow through with. Continue making great choices, whether the short term consequences are small or large, and you will live an amazing life following the Slight Edge principle.