I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by many wise people, from whom I’ve learned much about life, purpose, and just some great nuggets of wisdom. While some may not refer to this as a principle, I believe that it is. It is called the The Principle of the Slight Edge. The reason why I refer to it as a principle is because it applies everywhere and is always true no matter the circumstances and ultimately it will always govern an outcome. There are many aspects of the principle of the slight edge; for me, the terms that come to mind that associate well with this principle are discipline, consistency, ambition, attitude, and responsibility to name a few. In Street’s terms, The Principle of the Slight Edge can be defined as “doing something that you don’t necessarily enjoy doing consistently enough to develop a habit that leads to long term success.” Sounds pretty universal right? Like I usually do, let’s dive a little deeper in relate this to some common issues in our world today. Let’s not kid ourselves (which is a weak one-liner for Lipitor) I’m going to talk about health, fitness, and something new…finances.
The Principle of the Slight Edge with Finances:
Issue: You say that your finances are tight, work at a job you don’t enjoy, and are stuck in a dead end position.
Slight Edge solution #1: Stop eating out for lunch everyday to save some cash (could save $2,600 annually) to free up some cash flow for “outside of the box” thinking and options with your saved $$.
Slight Edge solution #2: Quit wasting time watching your favorite sitcom at night and re-allocate that time into the best investment you can ever make! Invest in your personal development and leadership qualities by reading good books. Imagine the new outlook and wisdom one could accumulate with over 200 hours of reading in a year! This is a guaranteed life-changing slight edge solution for the dead end position at work.
The Principle of the Slight Edge with Exercise:
Issue: We’ve all used it and hear it constantly: “I don’t have time to work out.”
Slight Edge Solution: Workout 20 minutes per day. This amounts to 140 minutes per week, which equals to 121 hours per year of working out! Something as simple as running for 10 minutes in the morning and doing 5 rounds of bodyweight squats, pushups, planks, and dumbbell rows in a mini-circuit will produce major results, but the slight edge only works when this is followed consistently. We all have enough time to do this; it is a matter of choice.
The Principle of the Slight Edge with Nutrition
The issue: I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted, but now I’ve let myself go and feel like I’m too far gone to do anything about it.
Slight Edge solution #1: Stop drinking pop and replace it with a healthier, more effective version of an energy drink if you need some extra energy, or drink just plain old H2O! Being properly hydrated can do wonders for your weight management and energy levels. Assuming that one drinks two pops per day (and we’ll use Mt. Dew as an example because it seems to be the most popular) eliminating 2 pops would equate to 96 grams of sugar per day. This accumulates to 35,040 grams of sugar per year! That is equal to 77.2 lbs of sugar per year. Can you imagine the slight edge solution could have here!
Slight edge solution #2: Take your $5 footlong (the lowest calorie sandwich I found was 480 calories) and replace it with a convenient, more cost effective meal replacment shake that is a perfectly balanced meal, and only 220 calories. Let’s do the math on that over the course of a 260 day work-year.
480 cal – 220 cal = 260 calories saved per day X 260 days = 67,600 calories saved per year. Since it takes 3,500 calorie reduction to lose a pound, let’s do the math on what that could mean over the course of 260 days.
67,600 calories / 3,500 calories/pound = 19.31 pounds of weight loss!
And, how about the money you save in the process! $5 foot long – $3 meal replacement shake = $2 of savings X 260 days = $520!
I hope the point made in today’s post paints a clear picture of what the Slight Edge Principle is all about and how it can be universally applied to any area of your life that you’d like to lead down the path towards success. Success isn’t a stroke of luck or found in a lottery ticket, it’s a decision. Take action and have some discipline to follow through.