Book Review Series
This post is another edition of my Book Review Series in which I share a book that has had a big impact in my life.
For this book review, I’ve chosen to highlight a book that I read back in 2007, while it was still being spread by word of mouth. It hit the mainstream around 2011, and has grown in popularity ever since.
The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success
This book, by Jeff Olson, helped me to really double down on my efforts at personal growth. It is also one of the few books that I’ve revisited and read more than 1 time.
The Basic Premise
The simple idea that Jeff puts forth here is that small actions, habits, and disciplines will compound over time, and lead to big results, either positive or negative.
This principle applies to all areas of your life including: Business, Personal Development, Relationships, Religion/Spirituality, Health/Fitness, and so on..
The Opposite of a”Get Rich Quick” mentality
While many ‘get rich quick’ strategies actually work, the mindset of expecting instant results usually won’t help you in the long run.
This mentality will likely hurt you in many areas too, since you’ll be expecting to undo the negative results quickly; results that have likely been compounding from small negative choices made over the course of many years..
Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long term results.
It’s hard to overstate the impact this book has had on my life. Let me share just a few examples of how I’ve implemented The Slight Edge in my life:
Health & Fitness
While I’ve never been overweight or ‘sickly’, I hadn’t made health or fitness priorities in my life. Around the time I first read this book, I began making small positive changes to both of these areas.
Over the course of nearly 3 years, these small changes eventually lead to my being in the best shape of my life (and I’m still improving). I both workout my entire body every day, and also make time to thoroughly stretch every muscle group.
I also slowly made the transition from an unhealthy diet (including lots of processed foods, meat & dairy, too many grains, and low quality produce) to a clean plant based diet filled with whole foods and (mostly) organic produce.
Another area this has positively impacted me is in my approach to personal development.
In the past, I had been a ‘binge learner’, often reading between 7-12 books simultaneously, while also listening to several audio courses each month, and then having periods of 2-3 months where I did little to learn & grow.
In 2011, I read more than 50 books and consumed more than 25 audio & video learning courses. Because of this, 2012 was almost entirely void of learning & personal development.
I realized that in the same way you can’t sleep once to recharge yourself for an entire month, or eat a massive meal to fuel you for the week, my studies needed to be a little smaller and a lot more consistent.
Now, I read for 30-60 minutes every day (fiction, current events, and the like don’t count), and try to limit myself to reading 2-3 books simultaneously.
I also carefully select my reading list in advance, and no longer hesitate to stop reading something that either doesn’t resonate with me, or that I’m not enjoying.
Before applying The Slight Edge to my business, I would jump between having too many projects ongoing to pouring my entire focus into just one project.
I changed my outlook quite a bit here. I knew that over time, the results from any one project would probably be pretty insignificant, and that spreading my focus too thin over a plethora of projects would greatly reduce my forward momentum.
I shifted to a system where I plan out my year in 90 day blocks. I still focus on multiple projects, but allocate my time to reflect which projects are of a higher priority.
Those examples are just a few of the many changes I’ve made in my life since reading The Slight Edge, and the results since 2007 have been astounding!
Obviously I wouldn’t waste your time telling you about a book that isn’t worth reading, but again, it’s hard to overstate the positive impact this simple philosophy can have on your life.
It’s definitely worth a read.