Have you ever thought you were living life on the edge? For many years, I really felt like I couldn’t get a grip! How do you “adult” in the new millennium where things change so fast? As soon as you take two steps forward, it feels like you get knocked off track and stumble three steps back.
How is it that some people seem to have such self-discipline and are constantly moving forward and mastering the right habits and others aren’t? In reading Jeff Olson’s The Slight Edge, I found a very helpful clue.
In his observations of a world where information is so readily accessible and consumed at rapid rates, he also asked: “Why is this information not yielding the expected results?”
Jeff concludes that it’s because of the slight edge, which is a way of thinking – how individuals approach and process information. Those habits we want to develop are easy to do and just as easy not to do. It’s not the intergalactic leap that brings success, it’s the small, little decisions we make, repeated over time, that have the potential to determine our success in the long term. The slight in slight edge is derived from the belief that what separates winning and losing in life is slight. That is, slightly different choices lead to outsized differences in outcomes over time.
“The journey starts with a single step – not with thinking about taking a step,” says Jeff. He likens this to compound interest. If I have a burger instead of a salad today, it has no impact on me. However, if I repeatedly make this decision over five years, there will be a marked difference in my health and well-being.
I like the way Jeff puts it: “Everything is always in motion. Every day, every moment, your life path is either curving upward, or curving downward. Growing up we heard five times as many no’s as yesses. Life has a downward pull. People on the success curve live in responsibility. People on the failure curve live in blame. People on the success curve are pulled by the future. People on the failure curve are pulled by the past. No matter where you are, at any moment you can choose to step onto the success curve.
Living on the slight edge helps us realise that every small decision counts. It can impact our daily actions and ultimately, be the key to “changing your mind”!
Jeff is a successful entrepreneur and business leader, and founder and CEO of Nerium International. According to Forbes: “Olson has built several multi-million-dollar sales and marketing organisations and has produced more than 900 television programmes centred on personal development.”
He has first-hand knowledge of what it takes to succeed and we would be wise to take his advice if entrepreneurial success is our goal as well.