The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

The premise of The Slight Edge is that you have complete control over your life and are responsible for what happens to you. By consistently performing small disciplines regularly, you are able to compound their effects over time and reap the rewards in various aspects of your life. These disciplines are likely to have little to no immediate feedback and so are often ignored or sacrificed, being deemed inconsequential.

It states there is a natural progression to everything in life: Plant → Cultivate → Harvest. Define your goals and educate yourself so that you are able to know what to plant. Trust in the cultivation process through relying on your knowledge and consistent action. Harvest the fruits of your labour. Acts of delayed gratification often display no immediate feedback and so to reach fruition, they must be consistently acted upon with no short term expectations.

Your defined goals serve as guidance when making a decision, which path will bring you closer to that which you desire? Continually educate and better yourself in the pursuit of these goals so that you have the ability to achieve them. Be mindful of who you associate with and pursue the masters in areas of interest so that you are able to learn from them.

Actionable Takeaways

  1. Define your goals, make them specific, give them a deadline and return to them daily.
  2. Practice consistency, with a long time horizon, in disciplines of interest; perseverance is a great substitute for talent.
  3. Devote more time to being around those who you admire and want to be more like so that their traits and knowledge become more known to you.
  4. If you want to learn how to do something well, go find someone who has already mastered that skill and apprentice yourself; Model your behaviour on the experiences of the masters.
  5. The results are brought to you through a combined effort of education and action; study alone won’t allow you to reach your goals.

Favourite Quotes

By Author

In a world filled with instant coffee, instant breakfast, instant credit, instant shopping, instant information, and 24/7 news, we have become dangerously close to losing touch with reality and believing we have access to instant life.

Jeff Olson

Surround yourself with people of like mind and different talents and temperaments with the purpose of serving the goals of every member of the group. Associate with these people on a regular basis.

Jeff Olson

No matter how great our accomplishments, it is ultimately other people who give them meaning. [...] All the success in the world means little if there is no one to share it with.

Jeff Olson

By Others

The formula for success is quite simple. Double your rate of failure.

Thomas J Watson

Do the thing and you shall have the power.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The difficult is what takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little longer.

Fridtjof Nansen

A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.

John Burroughs

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

Napoleon Hill

Knowledge without practice is useless and practice without knowledge is dangerous.

Confucius

You will become as small as your controlling desire, or as great as your dominant aspiration.

James Allen

Further Reading