I want to tell about a book which I believe have changed my life. It was the only paperback book in my backpack during my travels in Australia and Southeast Asia. I have read many self-improvement books through the years and by far, this is one of the best. But first, I want to explain the philosophy behind the book. So, let’s get to it.
We live in a result-focused world. We expect to see results, and we expect to see them now. But that’s not how natural progression works. You’ve probably heard from your grandmother that first, you plant, then you cultivate, and finally you harvest. Plant, cultivate, harvest.
The problem in today’s world is that everyone wants to go directly from plant to harvest. We plant the seed by joining the gym and then get frustrated when a few days go by and there’s no fitness harvest.
Four years ago I started doing pushups, but the thing is that I could do only five pushups. Embarrassing, right? But you know what, it doesn’t matter if your goal is progress. A few weeks later I was already able to do eight, then twelve, after two months twenty pushups and finally I accomplished my goal – 100 pushups. Same thing with running. Last year when I started I was able to run only 2 km. A few months later already 3-5 km. Last month I did my personal best – 10 km. That’s natural progression. But it takes time and patience.
Fundamentally, we all take pretty much the same actions every day. We eat, sleep, think, feel, talk and listen. We have relationships and friendships. We each have twenty-four hours a day and we each fill these one way or the another with a sequence of little tasks and actions.
And here comes the magic – the little insignificant things.
We all know what we supposed to eat. Vegetables, fresh fruits, salads, whole woods, drink smoothies, eat more fish and so on. You know it, I know it, we all know it. So why do so many of us still eat so much crap every day? Because it won’t hurt us. At least not today. And not eating it won’t save you either. At least not today. But compounded over time, it can and will. It’s easy to eat well. And it’s easy not to. It’s not the one meal that makes the difference, it’s the thousands of meals and choices… over time.
If you read ten pages of a good book today, will your life change? Of course not. If you don’t read ten pages of a good book today, will your life fall apart? The answer is the same – of course not. But what about a year? If you would have read 3650 pages (10 books) over the course of the year, would it make any difference? Absofuckinglutely. No question.
When you make the right choice, you won’t see the results. At least, not today. Remember – you plant; you cultivate, and then you harvest.
What I want to tell you and what this book was about is that the things you do every day, the things that don’t look like they matter today, do matter in the long run. They not only make a difference – they make all the difference!
There is no magic pill or shortcuts. The magic is the power of your daily actions, these little insignificant things… compounded over time.
Time can work either for you or against you.
The choice is yours.
“The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson
Listen to the audio book on SoundCloud