I have recently been presenting to groups in the finance and aged care sectors whose work has been severely disrupted by their respective Royal Commission’s.
How do we have healthy work/life integration with so much volatility and uncertainty? Sometimes relentless change can seem overwhelming.
Although these two industries feel under attack, every workplace is experiencing change. Sometimes it can be very hard to feel you are making progress, and yet learning and growing each day, has never been more important for fulfilment and success.
With this background, I recently read a book called THE SLIGHT EDGE by Jeff Olson. I heard about it from reading an article – The number 1 book that made me a stronger person. I was intrigued and decided to buy it and read it.
It has a very simple and yet profound message:
“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.”
“Failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.”
Olson explains in detail; how small disciplines accumulate their effect and how small errors in judgement bring setbacks to one’s life.
The right small daily rituals over time, can produce amazing results. What also made the book compelling for me, were the 30+ case studies where people from all walks of life have put this simple concept into action and achieved amazing results – for recovery, and improving relationships, career, finances, health, and philanthropy.
The graphic below shows that in the beginning, these small disciplines yield very small improvement, but like compounding interest, the benefits accelerate with time.
As an example, for self-development, he proposes that everyone should read 10 pages per day of iconic books like Think and Grow Rich. Anyone can read 10 pages per day – or not – and that is the point. Doing these small things don’t make a big difference if you do it for one day – but if you do it consistently over time it accelerates the impact.
Olson claims that only 5% of people are prepared to do these small things consistently – and they are the ones that will have greater fulfillment and success.
There are 2 options:
- What’s uncomfortable early becomes comfortable later (success)
- What’s comfortable early becomes uncomfortable later (failure)
This concept resonated with me, because I have applied it to one area of my life – my relationships – and reaped the rewards.
For example, after my recovery from severe depression 13 years ago, I was determined to put a greater priority on having more caring, supportive, and fun relationships in my life – this group of people I call my CARE CREW.
In the favourites section of my mobile I have 15 people from my CARE CREW. Each Sunday, I go through that list and consider who I haven’t seen for a while – and then send off a text or email to set up a time to catch up.
I have also incorporated rituals that make some quality time catch ups almost automatic. For example, my wife Karen and I, treasure eating out most Friday nights locally. We can both reflect on our week and plan for the weekend. Most Sunday mornings, I meet good mates Bernie and Alastair at Curl Curl Beach, where we go for a jog, followed by a relaxed breakfast. At least once a month, I go on a long bushwalk with Ted, another good mate.
I have also been a member of an Investment Club with 13 mates for 21 years, where we meet once per month at someone’s home. Even though we have learnt a bit about shares, the main reason we meet is for the laughs and comradery. It is really our version of a Men’s Shed, and we have helped each other through divorces, unemployment, financial setbacks, severe illness, and a number of depressive episodes.
When I had my mental health setback in September 2017, I was easily able to call on support from my CARE CREW, and I am totally convinced that this was the secret to bouncing back quickly from that crisis.
If this could work so well in one part of my life, why couldn’t I apply it to my personal development and growth in the same way?
Well, I plan to. I have already committed to reading 10 pages of a great book every day.
I am also applying these principles to improve the quality of my sleep by:
- Being in bed each weeknight by 9.30pm to read – without my phone.
- Charge my phone outside my bedroom so I’m not tempted to look at it if I wake up.
- If I wake up through the night and can’t get back to sleep – I get up and read a paper book and return to bed when I get tired.
I will review my sleep quality in a month. Will these experiments with The Slight Edge lead to improved long-term results? Quite frankly it is too early to tell – but I’m reasonably optimistic.
This 4:43 minute video also provides a good overview of The Slight Edge:
Is there anything you would like to apply The Slight Edge to? Could The Slight Edge be applied to improve your workplace?
We can make a difference. If you would like to explore this further with Graeme please email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to speak.
BE CARING. BE HELPFUL. GO FOR THE GROWTH ZONE.