Monday, February 21, 2022




“Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” 
— Chinese proverb

You have powerful allies at your disposal, four slight edge forces that, once you recognize them in your life, you can harness in your pursuit of your dreams, like four wild horses all harnessed to a single chariot. They are momentum, completion, reflection, and celebration.

Use the Power of Momentum
We’ve come to expect fast results, to demand them — but fast, faster, fastest is a strategy that will eventually take you down the slight edge curve to the unhappy life.

Going too fast, or growing too fast, often puts the system’s (or the person’s) survival at risk. Faster can easily turn out to be slower.

Part of learning the slight edge is finding your own “intrinsically optimal rate of growth,” and it is always served best by a step-by-step approach of constant, never-ending improvement, which lays solid foundations and builds upon them over and over. The slight edge is your optimal rate of growth.

Simple disciplines compounded over time. That’s how the tortoise won; that’s how you get to be a winner, too. The key word in the Aesop moral is not “slow.” The key word here is steady. Steady wins the race. That’s the truth of it. Because steady is what taps into the power of the slight edge.

The fable of the tortoise and the hare is really about the remarkable power of momentum. Newton’s second law of thermodynamics: a body at rest tends to stay at rest — and a body in motion tends to remain in motion. That’s why your activity is so important. Once you’re in motion, it’s easy to keep on keeping on. Once you stop, it’s hard to change from stop to go.

I’ve found that it’s far more effective to take one business-building action every day for a week, than to take seven, or ten, or even two dozen all at once and then take the rest of the week off. People who do the first, week in and week out, build a successful business; people who do the second, don’t — even if they actually take a greater number of those business-building actions than the first group.

It can take a good amount of energy and initiative to get yourself started in a new activity — but it takes far, far less to keep yourself doing it once you’ve started.

The slight edge is a flow, and it moves at its own pace, automatically homing in on optimal growth rates. Part of understanding the slight edge is learning to go with the flow.

“Give yourself something to work toward — constantly.”
Mary Kay Ash

Use the Power of Completion
Another way you gather momentum and harness it to your advantage is by regularly practicing an activity called completion.

Each and every incomplete thing in your life or work exerts a draining force on you, sucking the energy of accomplishment and success out of you as surely as a vampire stealing your blood. Every incomplete promise, commitment, or agreement saps your strength because it blocks your momentum and chokes off your ability to move forward, progress, or improve. Incomplete things keep calling you back to the past to take care of them.

Here’s the unfortunate and powerfully destructive truth of being incomplete: it keeps the past alive. Remember, people who live on the success curve are pulled by the future, while those who dwell on the failure curve are pulled by the past. And a surefire way to be forced to live as a prisoner of your past is not to complete things.

Take on those incompletions in your life just as you took on learning to walk. Baby steps, one at a time, letting the force of the slight edge work for you to help you complete whatever needs completing.

Take on any one of your “incomplete” projects, one at a time. And if even that one project seems like too huge a mountain to climb, rummage around its foothills until you find an initial step you can take. The biggest meal is still eaten one bite at a time.

Give fifteen minutes to completing something every day.

Use the Power of Reflection
Being productive and being busy are not necessarily the same thing. Doing things won’t create your success; doing the right things will. And if you’re doing the wrong things, doing more of them won’t increase your odds of success. It will only make you fail faster.

Whose dream did you build today — yours or somebody else’s?

In twelve-step programs this is called “taking a searching and fearless personal inventory.” I honestly encourage you to get a little searching and get fearless with yourself. Keep your progress, or the lack of it, right in your face.

Here’s a powerful exercise: Instead of writing down what you’re going to do write down at the end of the day what you did do that day. What actions did you take today that made you successful? Did you read ten pages of a good book? Did you eat healthy food and get some good exercise? Did you engage in positive associations? Did you do the things you need to do to be successful in your business? Did you tell somebody, “I appreciate you”? 

At the end of a week, look back over your lists and take inventory. Not only will it tell you a lot about the truth of your everyday life, chances are good that the mere act of recording this daily reflection will have already started changing what you do.

Whatever method you choose to use, find some way to make reflection an everyday thing, day in and day out, without fail.

Use the Power of Celebration
There is another critical reason the power of reflection is so important. It’s not just to be a nag and remind you when you’re slacking off. It’s also to point out to you all the positive steps you’re taking.

It’s the slight edge power of reflection and acknowledgement — celebration.

Keep your slight edge activities, your right choices and incremental successes, right out in the open where you can see them and celebrate them. Remember that all the activity required to apply the slight edge for your success is a series of baby steps. 

Trust the process. Acknowledge those steps, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem at the time. 

Essential Points from Chapter Fourteen

*On the path of mastery you have four powerful allies:

1. The power of momentum: steady wins the race.

2. The power of completion: clear out your undones and incompletes.

3. The power of reflection: facing the man or woman in the mirror.

4. The power of celebration: catch yourself doing something right.

Slight Edge | Chapter 13

Slight Edge | Chapter 15

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