I have a lot of books that I love because I’ve learned so much from them. Whether it’s business or just everyday life I’m able to apply things I’ve learned. Many of them I will read multiple times because I want to absorb more of the information. The ones that I really love I have both the physical book and the audio book. As I sit at my desk writing this I can look at my book shelves and pick out so many great books that I could refer to people, but there are a few that stand out to me as their own group. Some that for whatever reason have just meant a little more to me. Books like Think and Grow Rich, How to Win Friends & Influence People and Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t. They are the Must Read books that I suggest when people ask what books they should read. A while ago a book fell into my possession by accident. I hadn’t hear of the book before and I wasn’t in a big rush to read it. But when I finished the book I was reading at the time this book was still sitting on the edge of my desk and I decided to read it. Turns out, this book jumped into my Must Read list.
The book is The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Olson. As they state on slightedge.org, “The Slight Edge isn’t just another personal development book. It’s an entirely new way of thinking; a way of processing information that enables you to make the SIMPLE daily choices that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire.”
In the book, Jeff talks about the ripple-effect, the long-term impact that your everyday decisions and actions have on your life and others. He focuses on seven areas where the slight edge can make a transformational difference — health, happiness, relationships, personal development, finances, career and impact. Many of the things that I’ve learned in this book remind me of things taught by Darren Hardy in The Compound Effect, another book that I love. The Slight Edge is published by SUCCESS, so there is a link between the two.
Out of all the great things that I have learned from this book, there is one concept that stands out more than the others. “The simple things that lead to success are all easy to do. But they are also just as easy not to do.” This concept is hit on throughout the book. It’s the simple, little habits that you do every day that lead to success. The simple, little habits that are easy to do, but just as easy not to do. This phrase runs through my head every single morning now if I want it to or not. I set my alarm for 5am. When it goes off I have two choices. I can slide out of bed, put on my running shoes and go for my morning run. Or I can hit the snooze button, curl up in bed and fall back asleep. I’ve really done both quite a few times in my life. I’m pretty disciplined so getting up early to run or workout usually isn’t a big deal. But I’m not as disciplined in going to bed at a good hour. So some mornings when the alarm goes off at 5am and I’ve only been in bed for a few hours it’s pretty easy to justify skipping the workout that morning and usually hitting the snooze two or three more times after that. But now each morning when my alarm goes off, before I have the opportunity to realize how tired I am, the words, “Easy to do. Easy not to do.” are running through my head. That’s motivation enough to get me going.
Jeff talks about the “little things” a lot. If I hit the snooze and skip my run it likely isn’t going to kill me or have a drastic impact on my health. But the compound effect is always working. It’s either working for us or against us. So as I get out of bed for my workout those actions are compounding with all the other times I take those positive actions. That one workout might not have much of an impact on my health, but compounding them all together will. Just like when I hit the snooze, that action compounds with all the other times I take those actions and works against me.
It’s the simple, daily disciplines, little productive actions repeated consistently over time, that add up to the difference between failure and success.
You have complete control over the direction your life will take. The Slight Edge is a great book to help you get on track to use the power of compounding to catapult your life in the right direction.