The Slight Edge – How Little Things We Do Each Day Change Our Lives

Right now, I’m reading a fantastic book titled, “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson. You have to get this book. It WILL change your life.

The book will help you see clearly how little things we do, or don’t do, on a daily basis lead to our ultimate success or failure in life. These little things compound over time making your life better, or worse, down the road.

The critical thing for us to remember is these little things are easy to do. They are also easy not to do. Because they are easy not to do and there is no immediate negative consequence for not doing them, we tend to let them slide. This decision not to do these important little things compounds week-after-week, month-after-month, and year-after year.

It is easy to save a portion of every paycheck. It is also easy not to save a portion of every paycheck.

Here is a picture of how the slight edge works from the book:


Those two slight edge curves, the success curve and the failure curve, typically run parallel to each other for a long time. The two paths may be so close together that it’s almost impossible for most people even to see the distinction between them. Then all of sudden, they veer away from each other, the success curve shooting up like an eagle and the failure curve plummeting downward like a stock market crash.

Both curves in the picture represent compounding in our lives. Compounding doesn’t seem significant for many years and then “boom” it is extremely significant. You either use the slight edge to your advantage, or you don’t.

“The people living on top, those who take responsibility, live a life that is in some ways uncomfortable. Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do, and that often means living outside the limits of one’s comfort zone.”

It is not fun to save a portion of every paycheck you receive. It is not fun seeing your neighbors and friends driving new cars, while you continue to drive your older car. It is not fun to watch your friends buy a big new house, while you’re staying in your older smaller home. It isn’t fun watching your net worth grow slowly from year-to-year.

It would be easier to go buy the new car. It would be easier to go buy the big new house in order to keep up with the Joneses. It would be a lot easier to just spend every dollar now and enjoy life, wouldn’t it?

These comfortable and uncomfortable daily decisions do compound over time.

Little things you do, or don’t do, every day matter because they have long-term ramifications. These daily decisions matter because you’re either moving up the slight edge curve, or you’re moving down the slight edge curve. “What’s uncomfortable early becomes comfortable later.”

The key is to understand we can use time to improve our lives or destroy our lives.

What you do (or don’t do) today DOES matter.


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