7 min read ⌚
Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success
The only person you are destined to become” – supposedly said Ralph Waldo Emerson once – “is the person you decide to be.
Jeff Olson’s “The Slight Edge” should help you transform your decision into reality.
Who Should Read “The Slight Edge”? And Why?
According to its blurb, “’The Slight Edge’ is ‘the key’ that will make all the other personal development books and tools that you consume actually work.”
In other words, it’s a practical application of all the self-help manuals you’ve read so far.
So – if you like to see how they may work in practice, please, be Olson’s guest!
About Jeff Olson
Jeff Olson is the founder and CEO of Nerium International, a leader in the direct sales industry, and “a perpetual student in personal development.”
His successes as an entrepreneur and CEO inspired him to become a life coach, founding “The People’s Network,” one of the largest personal development training companies in the United States.
Through it, he has produced over 900 television programs and has earned himself the reputation of an inspirational speaker and motivator.
“Slight Edge” is his only book so far.
He is also the owner of Live Happy.
“The Slight Edge PDF Summary”
Remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare?
Of course you do!
In case you’re one of the very few people on this planet who doesn’t know it, you should: it’s the ultimate underdog story.
In a nutshell, a slow tortoise wins a race against the mightily fast and overconfident hare, simply because it perseveres in crawling – slowly but surely to the finish line – as opposed to the hare who decides to take a nap in the middle of the race since he’s miles and miles ahead.
Well, that’s the essence of Jeff Olson’s “Slight Edge”!
It’s a simple philosophy based on the premise that over time, small daily actions result in an earth-shattering compound effect:
What you do today matters.
What you do every day matters.
Successful people are those who understand that the little choices they make matter, and because of that they choose to do things that seem to make no difference at all in the act of doing them, and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.
Of course it is – it’s one of the simplest things you’ll ever learn.
And Jeff Olson isn’t someone who’ll try and hide this!
In fact, “The Slight Edge” is rife with many references and quotes from many life-transforming books, the bulk of which are listed in an addendum.
That’s, in fact, Olson’s point: it’s not about learning more, it’s about doing more.
In fact, as far as he’s considered, you already know everything you need to know.
And it’s about time that you started doing the things that, in the long run, will result in turning your dreams into reality.
It’s wisdom as old as the agrarian civilization:
Plant, cultivate, harvest. And that second comma, the one between cultivate and harvest, often represents a loooong period of time.
So how should you cultivate the slight edge habits?
In the all-important 15th chapter of “The Slight Edge,” Olson suggests “seven positive, productive habits of attitude and behavior, steel cables that will unflinchingly bear you up under any circumstance and support you on the path to your dreams.”
Let’s have a look at them all:
Habit #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.
You’ll have plenty of time to think about it later.
Habit #2: 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.
Habit #3: Have a Positive Outlook
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 say “from now on,” we mean starting today!
Habit #4: Be Committed for the Long Haul
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?
Habit #5: Cultivate a Burning Desire Backed by Faith
The power of “desire backed by faith” is what Napoleon Hill to be 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.
Habit #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.
Habit #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.
Don’t skip these 10 pages because nobody is looking.
Read them – for the very same reason!
Key Lessons from “The Slight Edge”
1. The Simple Philosophy of the Slight Edge
2. The Seven Slight Edge Habits
3. The Three Simple Steps to Your Dreams
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 dollars!
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.
The Seven Slight Edge Habits
Your actions turn into habits, which develop your character, which, in turn, shapes your destiny.
So, start acting today – and act that way every day!
There are seven simple tweaks you should do, and, in five years’ time, you’ll be exactly where you want to be:
Show up consistently.
Show up consistently with a positive outlook.
Be prepared for and committed to the long haul.
Cultivate a burning desire backed by faith.
Be willing to pay the price.
And do the things you’ve committed to doing—even when no one else is watching.
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.
Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.
“The Slight Edge Quotes”
Our Critical Review
“The Slight Edge” doesn’t offer anything new to the table, but it organizes the old wisdom in such a way that reading this book may serve as a substitute for reading hundreds and hundreds of similar books.
In fact, that’s the very essence of Olson’s argument.
Which means: buy this book, read it, and once you finish it, start doing the things it says.