There are terrific books about habits and small steps, just like a book I have reviewed before (link). But the first version of The Slight Edge was already published in 2005, so it’s quite an OG. The central claim of this book is that you can turn simple disciplines into massive success and happiness. These actions are so simple, that they are just as easy not to do. The image below further explains this. Doing 20 pushups each day seem as the easiest job, but it will be so easy to forget or to just not do.
I finished this book at the start of 2020, and then I decided to automatically transfer some money to my savings. Now I’m still doing it and it is going well. However, if you stop doing them, you will end up back in the failure part of the story. Here is a great quote from the book:
The reason diets and self-help courses and weight-loss programs and other how-to’s don’t work for most people is the same reason most how-to books and courses don’t work for most people. It isn’t that the actions are wrong. It’s that people don’t keep doing them. Focusing on the actions, the what-to-dos and the how-to-do-its, is not enough, because it’s the attitude behind the actions that keep those actions in place.
If we have the wrong attitude, all these self-help works don’t work. You get inspired in the short term. You will feel emotional power at the time, but what if that emotion dissipates the next week? Another nice quote to add to that:
They keep moving; that’s why they’re called emotions and not e-standingstills.
Your philosophy of life is the missing piece of the puzzle. You can find them in the image, but here is another quote:
There are two prevalent types of attitudes: entitled and value-driven. A value-driven attitude says “What can I do to help you?” An entitled attitude says, “What have you done for me lately?” An entitled attitude says, “Pay me more, and then maybe I’ll work harder.” A value-driven attitude says, “I’ll work harder, and then I expect you’ll pay me more.”
So when your philosophy is in check, you can start by doing small tasks. One thing you have to remember is that there is no immediate feedback. You don’t know how long something will take, but you have to give it some time. You just need to stay in the process long enough to give it a chance to win. Patience is key.
There are lots of success stories and how-tos in this book and if you are trying to change something in your life, like losing weight, or learning a language, or becoming smarter, starting a business whatever, this will be a great source of information for you.
Thanks for reading! There is so much more to talk about but I’ll leave that out for now.
One last feel good quote:
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. – Abert Schweitzer