Friday, February 4, 2022




“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. 
You get busy living, or get busy dying.”
— Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption

In 1996 a book appeared titled The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. A classic today, Stanley and Danko’s book is still the best description I’ve ever read of how real-life people have become wealthy by following slight edge principles. The millionaires featured in their book don’t inherit their wealth, or strike it rich by making outrageously lucky gambles. They don’t “live large,” drive flashy cars, or live in ostentatious homes. They live below their means and make sensible, smart choices in how they conduct their everyday lives.

After that book came out my friends would tell me, “Hey, Jeff, have you seen this book? It’s about you. It describes exactly what you do and how you act. You’re the millionaire next door guy!” Sure enough, the book described exactly how I approached my finances. For years I kept our family living on $4,000 a month, no matter how much my income increased, and I wouldn’t let us raise that monthly threshold until I had a million dollars (after taxes) in the bank. Then I raised it to $5,000.

The single most important thing I can tell you about the slight edge is this: it’s already working, right now, either for you or against you. So don’t wait.

Easy to do? Surprisingly so. Easy not to do? Tragically so.

You’re never too old, and it’s never too late, to start applying slight edge tactics to achieve your dreams, financial and otherwise.

During those times when I was slipping from survival back toward failure, I had stopped doing those simple daily disciplines. 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.

The slight edge is relentless, and it cuts both ways. Used productively, it carries you up toward success. Used carelessly, it pulls you down toward failure.

Simple productive actions, repeated consistently over time.

Simple errors in judgment, repeated consistently over time.

The choice is that simple.

Most people don’t stick with the simple daily disciplines it takes to get where they want to go, because they don’t know how to look ahead far enough along the curve to see the results they are creating. But see it or not, those results are coming, as surely as a million dollars in the bank — or a train coming down the tracks heading our way.

The simple little actions you take today can look very different when you see how they play out over time.

The things you do every single day, the things that don’t look dramatic, that don’t even look like they matter, do matter. That they not only make a difference — they make all the difference.

Have faith in the process of simple, positive actions repeated over time — the faith that miracles do happen.

Essential Points from Chapter Three

* Simple daily disciplines — little productive actions, repeated consistently over time— add up to the difference between failure and success.

* The slight edge is relentless and cuts both ways: simple daily disciplines or simple errors in judgment, repeated consistently over time, make you or break you.

* Without the slight edge, you can start with a million and lose it all. With the slight edge, you can start with a penny and accomplish anything you want.

Slight Edge | Chapter 2

Slight Edge | Chapter 4

No comments:

Post a Comment