The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness
John Mann Jeff Olson

Ended: Feb. 17, 2017

The difference between success and failure is not dramatic. In fact, the difference between success and failure is so subtle, so mundane, that most people miss it.
What you do today matters. What you do every day matters. Successful people are those who understand that the little choices they make matter, and because of that they choose to do things that seem to make no difference at all in the act of doing them, and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.
Successful people do whatever it takes to get the job done, whether or not they feel like it.
Successful people form habits that feed their success, instead of habits that feed their failure. They choose to have the slight edge working for them, not against them. They build their own dreams, rather than spend their lives building other people’s dreams, and they achieve these dramatic results in their lives through making choices that are the very antithesis of drama—mundane, simple, seemingly insignificant choices.
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.” —Albert Schweitzer
a set of five simple things you can do every day that, if you do them consistently over time, will make you significantly, noticeably, measurably happier.
Each morning, write down three things you’re grateful for. Not the same three every day; find three new things to write about. That trains your brain to search your circumstances and hunt for the positive. Journal for two minutes a day about one positive experience you’ve had over the past twenty-four hours. Write down every detail you can remember; this causes your brain to literally reexperience the experience, which doubles its positive impact. Meditate daily. Nothing fancy; just stop all activity, relax, and watch your breath go in and out for two minutes. This trains your brain to focus where you want it to, and not get distracted by negativity in your environment. Do a random act of kindness over the course of each day. To make this simple, Shawn often recommends a specific act of kindness: at the start of each day, take two minutes to write an email to someone you know praising them or thanking them for something they did. Exercise for fifteen minutes daily. Simple cardio, even a brisk walk, has a powerful antidepressant impact, in many cases stronger (and more long-lasting) than an actual antidepressant! According to Shawn, if you do any one of these things faithfully for just three weeks, twenty-one days in a row, it will start to become a habit—a happy habit. You will have literally begun to rewire your brain to see the world in a different way, and as a result, to be happier on an everyday basis. An interesting thing is that you don’t have to do all five at once—in fact, Shawn actually recommends that you don’t even try to do that, but instead start with just one and keep repeating it until it becomes a habit, then add another, and so on.
Of all the books I have ever encountered in my pursuit of excellence and the how-to’s of success, Napoleon Hill’s masterpiece Think and Grow Rich is the most influential.
Applying Hill’s principle is simple: surround yourself with people of like mind and different talents and temperaments with the purpose of serving the goals of every member of the group. Associate with these people on a regular basis.