Do You Have the Slight Edge?

What is the Slight Edge anyway? 

You don’t have to be cool like The Fonz to have it.  It’s not some magical ability to bump a jukebox with your fist and get the right song to play.  And you don’t have to have the “it factor” that Angelina Jolie has.  It’s not having thousands of people in awe of every move you make.  And you certainly don’t even have to possess that special charm Ryan Gosling has with the ladies.  Really, it’s not about the 6-pack abs (though they are quite nice.)  While these guys all might have the slight edge, it’s not really about any of that.

The slight edge is a philosophy, a way of perceiving the true impact of our actions.  It’s the knowledge that success doesn’t miraculously appear out of nowhere but instead it comes after continuous, repeated efforts.  It’s the idea that the little, simple actions that you take on a daily basis will compound over time and eventually lead you to success.  It’s choosing a small simple action that is easy to do but that might not create an immediate result.  And because of the lack of immediate result, it also makes it easy not to do.  But the slight edge is doing it, even when it doesn’t create instant measurable results.  It’s the constant follow-through with the small tasks that eventually builds up and leads us to where we want to go.  And if we choose not to do the right small tasks, it leads us to where we don’t want to go.  It’s taking responsibility for yourself.   It’s willing to take certain risks.  It’s willing to fail.  It’s not only willing to fail, but also willing to learn from your failures.

It’s showing up day after day and doing the right things that move you in the direction you want to go.

I started reading The Slight Edge a few weeks ago.  It helped me frame how I arrived at today.  This book explained some of the principles I had discovered for myself but didn’t recognize.  It brought light to the importance of valuing what we do everyday in order to live our best (or worst) lives.  In one book, I was able to truly understand how and why I was able to change my career.

I’ve heard from many of you how lucky I am to have “gotten out.”  And I’ve tried to emphasize that it wasn’t luck and that it didn’t happen overnight.  It took 10 years of planting seeds.  It took 3 of those 10 years of taking small steps everyday (or at least every week) to get me to this point.  It may seem like it happened miraculously for me, but that’s because you didn’t read about it until already happened.  You didn’t get to see the small things I did along the way that seemed to move me nowhere over the years.  You didn’t see the hopelessness I felt when it didn’t seem that my efforts were getting me anywhere.  You also didn’t see that my desire to change was much stronger than any hopelessness I ever felt.  Heck, I didn’t see it at the time.  It wasn’t until I saw results, that I realized that all the work I had done led to this one moment.  That is the slight edge.

It’s not the huge edge.  It’s the slight edge.

  I was taken by this book because it so perfectly articulated what I’ve been through and hoped to share with you.  This didn’t happen in an instant for me.  It wasn’t easy to get here, but if I break down everything I did to make the change; it was doable, and it was worth it!  It took days and months and even years of soul-searching.  It took experimenting with different job ideas.  I tried things that were so wrong for me, but I tried them, and I found out.  It was taking small “risks” that had no consequences and no rewards. It was trying new things that seemed impossible or scary to me regardless of the immediate outcome.  Setting my intention and finding small ways to follow through set change in motion for me.

Why do I say all of this?  As you may know, this blog that started out as a vehicle to get me out of my career has become a vehicle to inspire you to make a move to create the positive changes you seek in your lives.  You don’t have to be someone “special.”  You don’t have to have the “it factor.”  You just have to have the desire and the drive to show up everyday.  So get this book.  It’s an easy read, and it could just be the easy task you need to do to get the ball rolling.

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14 thoughts on “Do You Have the Slight Edge?

  1. I’m also reading, “What color is your parachute” and “Throw 50 things out.” The first I use a reference tool, the second as a catalyst for a specific action. I agree that the “slight edge” is the key and it always has been just that. Much of what I’m struggling with is mental. And finally, clearly you’re cooler than the Fonz…..

    1. I don’t think I’ve read either of those books. Do you recommend them? I definitely go through phases where I’m a self-help junkie and others where I want to have nothing to do with it. Isn’t what we all struggle with mental? I mean, don’t you think that’s what always holds up back or propels us forward?

      Heyyy!! Isn’t that what the Fonz always said?

      1. The first book is a bit heavy on text [Parachute]. I think you’ll like the second one more. It feels more accessible and the examples she shares are relevant [to my life anyway]. I agree that our mental game has more to do with what holds us back or drives us forward. I know that’s the case whether I’m fly-fishing, taking photos, writing or spinning [bicycle]. Yeah, the Fonz….Happy Days was a decent show.

  2. Hello Laura !

    Ill def get this book . I can’t agree more with your sentiments.
    Just this year , I’ve taken small steps in different areas of my life and not only does it feel great , I’ve positively reinforced to myself that I have te capacity to change things in my life but its a great confidence boost.
    Just that initial ‘getting up and taking the first step’ is the hardest – but it’s soo worth it .
    It’s how we carve out a path for us to take and yes we prob will trip up on the way but when you make a a sustained and real effort to change things in your life , your life really does start to change in a wonderful way xx

    1. I think you’ll like it, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of the book. I’m glad to see you are recognizing those small steps– even something as seemingly insignificant as meeting a new friend for lunch! Celebrating those small things has made a huge difference for me along the way. It just helps you keep your head held high. xx

  3. Wow. This piece made me want to change a lot of things about myself. But not too much. But can anyone truly be cooler than the Fonz?

  4. I know it’s easy to think you’re going nowhere while making small changes, taking little steps. It’s not until you look back that you notice how far you’ve really come! That’s what happened to me, anyway. And I’m still taking steps, waiting to see where they’ll take me next! I will definitely check out this book!

    1. I know! And sometimes it seems like it takes so long, then out of the blue, all your work leads to somtehing. Me too– I’m still taking steps to see where they’ll take me. It’s kind of fun. I guess it’s impossible to stay still. Can’t wait to hear what you think about the book!

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