This book is so damn good that I can only hope to do it some justice for you. The purpose of this blog is for me to share some of the powerful lessons from great books with you. And this book ….. This book is one of the best of the best’s best.
It’s one of the few books that people can accurately describe as “life changing.” Though part of it’s tremendous power is it’s subtlety. The Slight Edge is brilliantly subtle, effective, and undeniable. It’s all 4 that makes this books lessons so important.
Lessons like these seem extra important in our age “of 10x” and immediate gratitude. Sometimes it seems like we are surrounded by overnight successes.
Though the secret is that there were thousands of little steps you didn’t see along the way.
I have read this book twice. And enjoyed the multiple journeys of curating the notes to create this series. Like I said, The Slight Edge is subtle, effective, and undeniable.
It brings reminders of a free speech thrown years ago by a sales coach. He was speaking on his philosophy and how he would help the room full of Realtors change their life and sell more. I wish I could remember his name because he had 1 part that has hung with me for 20+ years.
He challenged everyone in the room to create their “Definition of Success.” Because how can you find success, if you don’t even know what it is. And how do you know when you are there. He stated his definition of success as “Creating a system to replicate the income I desire, while having balance in my life.”
To me, The Slight Edge is the system to replicate the actions that lead to success in your life. In every arena. In money. In job performance. In relationships. In friendships. Hell, probably in ships-in-a-bottle-building.
The Slight Edge is a way of thinking,
a way of processing information that enables you to make the daily choices that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire.
Learn why some people make dream after dream come true, while others just continue dreaming and spend their lives building dreams for someone else. It’s not just another self-help motivation tool of methods you must learn in order to travel the path to success.
It shows you how to create powerful results from the simple daily activities of your life, by using tools that are already within you.
In the early parts of the book, the author sets the stage with the story of the 2 Frogs.
One night, two frogs left the safety of their swamp and ventured into a nearby farm to explore. They soon found themselves in a dairy. Hopping and jumping around (frogs will be frogs, after all), they jumped into a milk pail half full of cream.
At first, they were both thrilled. They had never tasted anything so delicious! They drank and drank. Soon (after some contented frog belches followed by much giggling) they were both full-bellied and getting just a bit sleepy. “Time to get out of here and head back to the swamp for some shut-eye,” burped the first frog.
But there was a problem. They’d had no trouble hopping in…but how to hop out? The inside of the pail was too slippery to climb, and there was nothing on which they could place their feet for traction to get up a good hopping distance…or any hopping distance at all.
The awful reality dawned on them: they were trapped.
Frantic, they began to thrash about, their little frog feet scrabbling for a foot hold on the elusive, slippery curve of the pail’s edge.
Finally, the second frog cried out, “It’s no use! We’re doomed, my brother! Let us save what dignity we have left and die here like frogs, with our eyes facing our homeland!”
The first frog cried out to stop him. “No! We should never give up! When we were tadpoles, which of us would ever have dreamed that someday we would emerge from the water and hop about on land? Swim on and pray for a miracle!”
The second frog eyed his brother sadly and said, “There are no miracles in the life of a frog, brother. Farewell.” And so saying, he turned his face in the direction of the swamp, gave a sigh, and slowly sank out of sight.
But the first frog refused to give up.
He continued to swim. He swam and he swam in ridiculous, pointless, useless, futile circles, hoping against hope for a miracle. Fired by adrenaline, he paddled mightily…yet his brother’s dying words clutched at his thoughts, even more insidious that the growing fatigue that tugged at his weakening muscles. Was my brother right?, he thought desperately. Am I a fool? Are there no miracles in the life of a frog?
Finally, he could swim no more…and with a great cry of anguish, he stopped paddling and let go, ready at last to face his fate like a frog.
But something odd then happened…or rather, didn’t happen. He didn’t sink. He just sat exactly where he was. Ever so tentatively, he stretched out a foot…and felt it touch something solid.
He heaved a big sign, both sad and grateful, said a silent farewell to his drowned brother, then scrambled up on top of the big lump of butter he had just finished churning…
…and hopped out of the pail and off to the swamp, alone but alive.
This story was included to set the mindset. However, what are going to learn are the strategies.
I use the example of the unfit person who knows they need to exercise. They KNOW they HAVE TO. Though they put it off. I can’t go to the gym because I don’t know which one. I can’t go to the gym because I don’t have the right clothes. I’m not in good enough shape to go to the gym.
The Slight Edge actually says “then don’t go to the gym.” But get up and walk. Right now!! Walk around the block. Even if it’s once. Then tomorrow walk a little bit further. Maybe 1.1 times around the block.
Then the next day a little more. Then a little more. But do it every damn day. Eventually, due to the compounding effort effect, you are running marathons. And then…. due to The Slight Edge, it will impact other aspects of your life. You have more energy to perform better at work. You make more money. Take more trips. Enriching relationships with family and friends.
Fast? No. Inevitable? Yes.
The Journey of a Million Miles starts with a single step.
The Slight Edge says, make each subsequent step a little….bit….bigger. And each day take 1 more step. You will see how much faster you get to a Billion.
With this, I’m launching my blog series on The Slight Edge. I hope you read them, and put some real thought to how you can apply it in your life. And I hope it inspires you to read the whole book. I will post new portions on the Tuesday and Thursdays that follow.