Success is a result. It’s a result of the actions we take. Our actions flow from the habits we employ.
I’m borrowing 7 habits that allow you to take a “slight edge,” a term coined by author Jeff Olson. He defines a slight edge as simple daily disciplines – little productive actions, repeated consistently over time – that add up to the difference between failure and success.
To take those little productive actions, we need the right habits that make it feel automatic for us.
Here’s Jeff Olson’s 7 habits to give you a slight edge everyday.
#1 Show up
Just do it. Do the work. Make the leap. Do the thing. The thing that all successful people have in common is that they all did something. They showed up.
#2 Show up consistently
Just do it… again.
Olson tells the story of this daughter starting her freshman year in college. She was nervous about being able to cut it with all the other students. His advice to her was simple: show up for class everyday and study for 2 hours each day. Most people don’t execute that advice. Her big seminar class had 400 students show up on day 1. By week 4, she reported only 80 students were coming to class. The simple, yet consistent actions, will make success more certain.
#3 Cultivate a positive outlook
A habit of having a positive outlook is important in every pillar of our lives.
Olson says empirical research shows “people who consistently practice seeing opportunities instead of problems, who focus on the best in a situation rather than the worst, who notice other people’s better qualities and look past their weaker ones, who see the glass as at least half-full in every circumstance, are happier, more creative, earn more money, have more friendships, have better immune response, have less heart disease and strokes, have better and longer-lasting marriages, live longer, and are more successful in their careers.”
#4 Commit to the long haul
Life is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s won by taking a step forward each day. Many people say that they want to read more books. If you read 10 pages a day for 250 days in a year, you’d read 2,500 pages. That’s an average of 10 books. Reading 10 pages each day isn’t monumental, yet when you do it day-after-day, it adds up into something significant.
#5 Cultivate a burning desired back by faith
Here’s how Olson says to combine desire & faith for success: “The truth about burning desire: it is a powerful force, and it works in two directions depending on what you see. Most people wish for big things but can’t really see themselves getting them. The few who achieve great things are those who not only passionately want to achieve them but also clearly see themselves achieving them.”
#6 Willing to pay the price
One of my favorite things that Dianna Kokoszka, creator of Keller Williams BOLD and a mentor of mine, says is the “Every dream has a toll booth, the question is are you willing to pay the price.”
Olson says it looks like making tough choices around how to spend your time and who to spend your time with. Develop the habit of awareness if the activities and the people you’re doing it with are going to help you succeed. If not, you must pay the price and make the choice to go after your success.
#7 Practice slight edge integrity
Olson sets up this scenario… Your goal is to read 10 pages each evening before bed. But, it’s been a long day. You felt you were kicked around all day and you’re spent. All you want to do is sleep. What do you do? Sure, 10 less pages today isn’t much. How often does the lack of 10 pages today turn into a lack of 10 pages tomorrow or later this week? The excuses will allow habit forming. Form the habit of keeping your word with yourself, especially when it’s hard.
These habits are mental & emotional in nature. Developing these will transform you into the person that actually takes the action in alignment with your success goals.