Monday, February 14, 2022




“The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” 
— Chinese proverb

It doesn’t take superhuman leaps to accomplish great things. Whatever success you want to create, whatever feats you want to achieve, whatever dreams you want to make real, you can, and you don’t have to do impossible, extraordinary things to make that happen. But you do have to do something. You have to start with a penny.

Success does come from a small beginning, often a beginning so tiny that it seems invisible and most people miss it. But there has to be a beginning.

If I told you that reading Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich would change your life, would you sit down and read it, cover to cover, today? Or another classic, Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Would you read either one in a single day? I doubt it. I wouldn’t — I can’t spend the entire day reading, and I’ll bet you can’t either. But could you read a penny’s worth, say, ten pages? I don’t know how much you would get out of ten pages. Maybe a lot, maybe a little. Let’s say you get hardly anything out of it. But if you could read ten pages today, could you read ten more tomorrow? Of course you could. Anyone who can read could do that. If you do, will your life change on that first day you read ten pages? Probably not. And if you don’t read those ten pages, will your life start to fall apart? Of course not. But successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do — even when it doesn’t look like it makes any difference. And they do it long enough for the compounding effect to start to kick in. 

If you read ten pages a day of books like this and keep it up every day for a year, you will have read about a dozen powerful, amazing, life-transforming classics. Your mind will be filled with the strategies and know-how necessary to create a startling new level of success. You will have absorbed the thoughts of millionaires. But to do that, you have to read those ten pages. You have to start with the penny.

The word “cent” is short for centum, meaning one-hundredth. A penny is called a cent because it is one-hundredth, or 1 percent, of a dollar. So let’s say you add 1 percent of whatever value you want to achieve, in all these areas (happiness, sense of self, friendships, health, studies, skills areas of knowledge). By the end of a year, by adding 1 percent each day — pure addition, no compound interest — how much have you added? A total of 365 percent. In other words, times three and-a-half. 

If your little actions — your happy habits, kind words, practice or study sessions, workouts, reading times, and the rest — each represented a 1 percent improvement in that area, your level of achievement in a year’s time would be not doubled but more than tripled.

Growth compounds.

Every day, in every moment, you get to exercise choices that will determine whether or not you will become a great person, living a great life. Greatness is not something predetermined, predestined, or carved into your fate by forces beyond your control. Greatness is always in the moment of the decision. 

Little things, things that might seem like they have no power at all, can make all the difference in the world. Sometimes, they can even change the course of history. And I can tell you this for certain: they will change your history.

What you do matters.

Essential Points from Chapter Nine

Great success often starts from a tiny beginning — but there has to be a beginning. You have start somewhere. You have to do something.

* If you add just 1 percent of anything — skill, knowledge, effort — per day, in a year it will have more than tripled. But you have to start with the 1 percent.

* Greatness is not something predetermined, predestined, or carved into your fate by forces beyond your control. Greatness is always in the moment of the decision

Slight Edge | Chapter 8

Slight Edge | Chapter 10

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