HWH028 7 Positive, Productive Habits from Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge

What are some habits that you can adopt right now that will help you to achieve your goals in your life? This is what I’m going to be answering in this episode. I was recently reading the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and came across 7 habits that Jeff says will “bear you up under any circumstance and support you on the path to your dreams.” I really liked these habits and I want to be intentional about incorporating these habits into my life. I think these habits are incredibly important to anyone who wants is striving to achieve their goals.

1. Show Up
The first habit is to show up. What this means is that you show up and take that first step. Nothing is going to get done if you never start it. This concept reminds of Wayne Gretzky’s quote “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” In Jeff’s book he states that “By simply showing up you can rise above half of the population in any circumstance.” What he means by this is most people don’t even try. Most people just watch life pass them by on the sidelines. If you want to be someone of action, you need to get off the bench and into the game. And in order to do that you need to show up, be present, and take that first step towards the direction you want to head.

2. Be Consistent
The second habit is to be consistent. It doesn’t just end with showing up. You have to show up every day. You can’t show up just one time and expect that all of your goals are going to be accomplished with just one try. You have to keep showing up, keep pushing on, keep taking that step forward, even when it’s hard, even when the odds are against you, and even when it’s easy not to. In The Slight Edge, Jeff says “As essential as it is to show up, it is consistency that greatly multiplies its power. Showing up consistently is where the magic happens.” Of the few people in life that are actually willing to show up and start something, there are even fewer people that are willing to consistently pursue their goals until they accomplish them. Sometimes in life you get curve balls thrown at you and things change. That doesn’t mean that you have to change your goals, it just means that you have to change your plan for reaching your goals. Jeff goes on to say “If you will commit to showing up consistently, every day, no matter what, then you have already won well more than half the battle. The rest is up to skill, knowledge, drive, and execution.” So, show up and be consistent.

3. Have a Positive Outlook
The third habit is to have a positive outlook. If you want to reach your goals it’s incredibly important to have a positive outlook. Jeff says “approaching the events of everyday life with a consistently positive outlook moves you towards your goals.” Think about this for a second, imagine if you always had a negative outlook. Maybe you would say to yourself, “That’s not going to work, it never works out.” Do you really think anyone with this kind of attitude ever gets anywhere? I highly doubt it. Why? Because who wants to try something if they think they are just going to fail? Seeing yourself as failing all the time is a negative outlook. If you want to win, you have to have a winning outlook, a positive outlook. Sure, there’s going to be many times in life where things are difficult. We all face hard situations in life. If you’re not facing hard situation then you’re not really pushing yourself. When you’re encountering something difficult, try to look at the bright side. Train yourself to find the good in every situation, even if it’s a bad situation. What this will do is help you see the opportunities that will help drive you to success, even when the situation looks bad from the outside.

4. Be Committed For The Long Haul
The fourth habit is to be committed for the long haul. Jeff starts out talking about this habit by saying. “Showing up is essential. Showing up consistently is powerful. Showing up consistently with a positive outlook is even more powerful. But doing all that for a week, is just doing it for a week.” What he means by this is, if you want to get good at something, it takes time. That’s the bottom line. If you want to be good at your job, then it’s going to take you time in order to get good. If you want to get your body into shape, then it’s going to take time. If you want to train yourself to run a marathon, it’s going to take time. This reminds me of the old adage, “Good things happen to those who wait.” While you’re waiting you need to be working for it. So, let’s change the ol’ saying to “Good things happen to those who are committed for the long haul.” And it’s true. People eventually achieve what they set out to achieve if they work at it long enough.

5. Cultivate a Burning Desire Backed by Faith
The fifth habit is to cultivate a burning desire backed by faith. When pursuing goals you have to have something motivating you. That something creates a desire in to you pursue whatever it is that you want. Sometimes desires come and go but a burning desire is something much more intense. Jeff says that “That’s the kind of desire that gets you up early and keeps you up late. It’s what keeps you motivated to press forward when adversity hits. A desire like that can move mountains and alter the course of rivers.” If you’re serious about accomplishing something you need to have not just a desire, but a burning desire. When I’ve experience a burning desire to do something, there wasn’t much that would be able to slow me down. I was ready to stand up against anything that got in my way. The key to harnessing the burning desire is having a clear vision of what you want. Now, if you really want to succeed have a burning desire backed by faith. Jeff explains the faith aspect as “A burning desire backed by faith simply means deeply, passionately wanting to get somewhere and knowing -not hoping, not wishing, but knowing that you’re going to get there. In other words, there has to be congruence between your desire and your faith.” So, figure out what you want, set a goal to get there, create a plan to achieve it, believe in your heart that you’re going to achieve it, and light that desire up!

6. Be Willing to Pay The Price
The sixth habit is being willing to pay the price. We all know in the back of our minds that nothing is free and there is a cost of achieving your goals. There is always a cost, a cost for anything. When you make a decision, no matter what that decision is, there is a cost. Sometimes the cost is simply not doing the other thing that you could have done. There is also a cost for not doing something. For example, there is a cost for not eating healthy. The price you pay is feeling like garbage. Your body pays the price of poor eating habits by not functioning as good as it could with good eating habits. Sometimes in order to do big things you have to make big sacrifices. You might have to give up some of the most valuable things to you like time with friends or family. You might have to decide to get up early and work on your project in stead of staying up the night before watching movies. If you know that whatever you do is going to cost you something don’t you want to get the most out of what you pay? If you’re going to be spending 40 hours a week at a job, why not make it worth your while and do the best that you can? Why not spend that 40 hours accomplishing the most that you can and help you to be as successful as possible? In The Slight Edge Jeff make a good point, “Remember, there aren’t many millionaires who bowl over 100. Why not? Because they left the bowling league behind to build their fortunes.” What do you need to give up in your life right now to help you reach your goals? The junk food? The time sitting in front of the TV? The negative people in your life? The bigger the sacrifices you’re willing to make, the higher you can climb.

7. Practice Slight Edge Integrity
The final habit is to practice slight edge integrity. What does this mean? I’ll tell you! Jeff explains slight edge integrity being, “What you do when no one is watching”. In other words, are you working on your goals when no one else knows that you’re working on your goals? Are you going for that run like you had planned on doing? Are you being intentional about reading a good personal development book on a regular bases? Are you eating the types of foods that you planned on eating? More than likely no one else really knows if you’re sticking to your plan to reach your goals except you. Are you holding yourself accountable to working your plan? That’s what the slight edge integrity is. It’s about being intentional about doing those small things that are easy to do but also easy not to do every day that will help you take one more step towards vision.

The bottom line is we’re all capable of accomplishing great things. Creating good habits in your life will help you accomplish your goals! Jeff summarizes the habits this way, he says, “Show up. Show up consistently. Show up consistently with a positive outlook. Be prepared for and committed to the long haul. Cultivate a burning desire backed by faith. Be willing to pay the price. And do the things you’ve committed to doing – even when no one else is watching”