Thursday, February 24, 2022




“Gentlemen, this is a football.” 

— Vince Lombardi

The modern business world has an expression for this mindset: “Assume nothing.” The Zen Buddhists call it “beginner’s mind.” It’s a mindset of humility and fresh inquiry, always looking for the most meaning and importance in the smallest things. 

No matter how great your aspirations, how tall the dream and great the leap it means, the eternally repeating truth of the slight edge is that it is always built of small, simple steps. Easy to do — and just as easy not to do. 

Don’t go too fast, and don’t be too proud to stop, look at your life, and tell yourself, “This is a football.”

Let’s revisit the seven specific areas. Make a simple roadmap for each one, consisting of three elements: 

1) your dreams for that area, expressed as goals — specific, vivid, and with a timeline; 
2) a simple plan to start 
3) one simple daily discipline that you will commit to doing each and every day from now on. 

1. The Slight Edge and Your Health 

There is nothing more basic to your life than your health, and there is no area of life where the slight edge is more vividly in operation, working either for you or against you.

Taking control of your health is just a few daily actions away. 

Take a few moments to work out your own slight edge plan for your health. 

My dreams for my health (specific, vivid and with a timeline): ____

Plan to start: ____

One simple daily discipline: ____

2. The Slight Edge and Your Happiness 

If health comes first, happiness is right on its heels, because once you start practicing simple daily disciplines that increase your levels of happiness you’ll find it feeds every other aspect of self improvement you’re trying to implement. 

Remember: success does not lead to happiness — Greater happiness is what leads to greater success.  The most significant factors in your happiness are your actions. What you do every day.

Your happiness is affected by:

1) your outlook, that is, how you choose to view the events and circumstances of your everyday life; 
2) specific actions with positive impact — things like writing down three things your grateful for, sending appreciative emails, doing random acts of kindness, practicing forgiveness, meditating, and exercising; and 
3) where you put your time and energy, and especially investing more time into important relationships and personally meaningful pursuits.

The most important thing to know about increasing your happiness is that it is something you can consciously, intentionally do — but it doesn’t happen automatically or just by saying, “I resolve to be happier.” Happiness is like health. There are concrete steps you need to take to make it happen. 

My dreams for my happiness (specific, vivid and with a timeline): ____

Plan to start: ____

One simple daily discipline: ____

3. The Slight Edge and Your Relationships

Here is the ironic truth of human existence: no matter how great our accomplishments, it is ultimately other people who give them meaning. All the success in the world means little if there is no one to share it with.

Your relationships, like your health, are built up or torn down in the subtlest ways. It is the little things, day by day, that add up over time to unshakable contentment or unsalvageable misery. It is the little things that count. 

The future of every relationship you have, like that of your health, is a choice that is always in your hands, and it’s no bigger than a penny. The key is to make the choice — and keep making it. 

My dreams for my relationships (specific, vivid and with a timeline): ____

Plan to start: ____

One simple daily discipline: ____

4. The Slight Edge and Your Personal Development

I’d rather be worth a million than have a million. If I’m penniless but I have a million-dollar mindset, then it won’t be long before I have the million dollars, too. But if I don’t have a million-dollar mindset, then even with a cool million in the bank it won’t be long before I’m back to being penniless again.

Your income will never long exceed your own level of personal development.  

You will become as small as your controlling desire, or as great as your dominant aspiration. 
- James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

You already know my number one slight edge recommendation here: read at least ten pages of a powerful, life-transforming book each and every day. 

Audiobooks are a great way to do this. Listening to audios is an especially powerful slight edge tool because it can turn your “down time” into up time and double your productivity. Listen while you drive to the store, to work, to school. Listen while you jog, walk, or exercise, while you sit on planes or stand in line. Feed your mind with life-transforming information and insight.

My dreams for my personal development (specific, vivid and with a timeline): ____

Plan to start: ____

One simple daily discipline: ____

5. The Slight Edge and Your Finances 

The world of finance is one of the easiest places to see, objectively and logically, the power of the slight edge in action.

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. 
- Vince Lombardi

Treat your personal finances like the precious resource it is. Emulate the masters of slight edge economics described in The Millionaire Next Door. 

Be like my mom: live below your means. Set up a modest savings plan and stick to it. 

My dreams for my finances (specific, vivid and with a timeline): ____

Plan to start: ____

One simple daily discipline: ____

6. The Slight Edge and Your Career 

“Lieben und arbeiten.” Love and work. 
- Sigmund Freud

Work is one of the most defining, overarching aspects of our lives. It molds and establishes nearly everything about our everyday existence; it is something we do practically every day and will do practically every day for most of our lives. 

When someone asks you, “What do you do?” what they are really asking is, “What is your work? What is your career?” 

Yet here is the sad irony of work in the world of the 95 percent: most people don’t love their work. A pretty good number, in fact, hate it. Not the 5 percent. The 5 percent have learned one of the great secrets of long and happy life: loving your work. 

Before you go to work tomorrow, ask yourself this question: “Why am I doing this?” There could be all sorts of reasons, but they generally come down to one of these two: 
a) Because I have to. 
b) Because I want to. 

Now, if you’re going to be honest, your answer probably needs to involve some of the first. Just make sure it also includes a healthy dose of the second. And here is the good news: your newfound understanding of how the slight edge works, your new philosophy, can transform your career just as surely as it will transform your health, your happiness, and your relationships. 

My dreams for my career (specific, vivid and with a timeline): ____

Plan to start: ____

One simple daily discipline: ____

7. The Slight Edge and Your Positive Impact on the World 

What kind of impact can you imagine yourself having on the world that will last long after your own life has run its course? 

What will people remember you for after you have come and gone? 

Remember, it’s your life; what would you like it to mean? 

My dreams for my life (specific, vivid and with a timeline): ____

Plan to start: ____

One simple daily discipline: ____

Everything You Do is Important 

Toss a rock into a pond, and you’ll see ripples from its impact spreading out until they reach the opposite shore. The same thing happens in life. In most cases you never see those ripples.

You teach someone to read ten pages of a good book a day, and you may see how it changes her, but chances are you won’t see how it changes her kids, and her kids’ friends, and their friends. And as these ripples spread out, they grow bigger and run deeper. For better or for worse, with positive impact or negative impact, even your smallest actions create a ripple effect that has an incalculably great impact on the world around you. 

No matter how high-minded or long-term your life dreams may seem: It starts with a penny. Start finding your pennies

Essential Points from Chapter Seventeen

*Write out your goals and dreams, a simple starting plan, and a single daily discipline: 

* For your health

* For your happiness

* For your relationships

* For your personal development

* For your finances

* For your career

* For your impact on the world

Slight Edge | Chapter 16

Slight Edge | Chapter 18

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