Notes on

The Slight Edge

by Jeff Olson

1. The Beach Bum and the Millionaire

"Once I got a little way above survival and was starting to head up into the warmer waters of success, without realizing it or thinking about it, I would stop doing the things that had gotten me there. Naturally, I would then start sinking back down again, back down toward survival and beyond, back down toward the failure line. And I did that every time. Every time."

"little virtues" / "success habits"(small, positive actions) add over time. "Simple productive actions, repeated consistently over time."

2. The First Ingredient

"Just wanting something doesn’t necessarily get it for you, not even when you combine wanting with trying really hard and working really hard. You can want all you want, and try yourself blue in the face. But it still won’t happen—not without the first ingredient. "

"Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do."

"If 'how to do it' were the answer, it’d be done. It’s how you do the 'hows' that’s most important. If access to the right information were the answer, we’d all be rich, healthy, happy, and fulfilled. And most of us are none of those things."

"The secret ingredient is your philosophy", meaning; the way you think about simple everyday things. Change that, and you'll take the steps you need to take, to lead you to the how-to's you need.

"If you don’t change how you think about these simple everyday things, then no amount of how-to’s will get you anywhere or give you any true solutions. Because it’s not the hows that do it, it’s how you do the hows. The reason diets and self-help courses and weight-loss programs and other how-to’s don’t work for most people is the same reason most how-to books and courses don’t work for most people. It isn’t that the actions are wrong. It’s that people don’t keep doing them."

"To find the path to success, you have to back up one more step. It’s the understanding behind the attitudes that are behind the actions."

"There are two prevalent types of attitudes: entitled and value-driven. A value-driven attitude says, “What can I do to help you?” An entitled attitude says, “What have you done for me lately?” An entitled attitude says, “Pay me more, and then maybe I’ll work harder.” A value-driven attitude says, “I’ll work harder, and then I expect you’ll pay me more.”" — be value-driven.

"Your philosophy is what you know, how you hold what you know, and how it affects what you do"

"Your philosophy creates your attitudes, which create your actions, which create your results, which create your life."

"Successful people fail their way to the top. Do the thing, and you shall have the power."

3. The Choice

"That was the reason—and the only reason—that I kept slipping back into failure. I was making little everyday choices that seemed harmless and innocent enough, but without my realizing it they were pulling me back down toward failure. That’s why my life had felt like that agonizing lament from The Godfather, Part III, when the Al Pacino character says, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”"

4. Master the Mundane

We can all be successful; so long as we understand the slight edge and use it.

"So why do so many of us still go out and chow down cheeseburgers and fries every day? I’ll tell you why: because it won’t kill us. Not today."

"When you make the right choice, you don’t see the results, at least not today. And that is a problem in our push-button, mouse-click, 24-hour-news world. We expect to see results, and we expect to see them now."

"The truth is, what you do matters. 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."

"So while anyone could do these successful actions, most won’t, simply because it’s so easy to skip them. And the tragic irony of it is, that doesn’t actually end up making their lives any easier. We’re all doing simple things anyway. Unsuccessful people just choose what they think is the path of least resistance. But it really isn’t."

5. Slow Down to Go Fast

"consistently repeated daily actions + time = inconquerable results"

"If you want to understand and apply the slight edge to create the life of your dreams, you can’t make your everyday choices based on the evidence of your eyes. You need to make them based on what you know. You have to see through the eyes of time."

6. Don’t Fall for Quantum Leap

"Once you absorb the slight edge way of being, you’ll stop looking for that quantum leap—and start building it. You’ll stop looking for the miracle, and start being the miracle." — it doesn't happen overnight. It doesn't happen in one big go. It adds up over time with consistent work.

10. Two Life Paths

"For things to change, you’ve got to change. For things to get better, you’ve got to get better. It’s easy to do. But then, it’s just as easy not to do."

"As the American naturalist John Burroughs put it, “A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” Don’t complain about what you allow."

"The 5 percenters who dwell on the upper curve know there are no excuses; they understand and accept the fact that nobody can do it to them, and nobody can do it for them. They live by the axiom, “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.” They set their own standards—and their standards are high. They realize that their only limitations are self-imposed."

11. Mastering the Slight Edge

You can't stand still. Either you're going in the right direction, or you're going in the wrong direction. There is no in-between.

12. Invest in Yourself

Practice life-long learning.

"Book smarts is not enough: all true success is built from a foundation of study plus street smarts. If you want to stay grounded and move ahead at the same time, you need a balance."

14. Use Your Slight Edge Allies

The Slight Edge: "Simple disciplines compounded over time."

It's easier to do a small task every day in a week, than a momentous task in one day — and then nothing for the rest of the week. Those who do the smalls tasks consistently will get more done.

15. Cultivate Slight Edge Habits

"Show up. 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."

"I told her what I’m telling you: show up. If you’ll just commit to showing up, that’s half the battle right there. By simply showing up you can rise above half of the population in any circumstance."

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