Why Am I Failing? How Do I Succeed? aka There's a 'Slight Edge' Difference Between Failure & Success
Updated: Nov 21, 2019
How did I get to this point? And how do I get out?
Life is a series of highs and lows, peaks and troughs, crossroads and forks in the road.
I'd reached a low. Not just me, but the whole family.
We were in debt, living someplace we hated and had no 'provable' (or reliable) source of income since we were starting our own business.
No provable income meant we had no way to move and improve our living situation.
I felt stuck. I was angry. It was depressing.
I was blaming others -- God, business partners, my spouse. I was complaining about our bad luck, bad choices, bad karma...
But after years of 'training' in personal development, my heart knew that continuing to blame and complain wouldn't help me get out of our situation.
So I started asking questions.
How did we get here?
What led us to these circumstances?
How can we get out?
As always, the answers came to me as I studied, researched, prayed, and pondered.
And the solutions came as I took action.
There's a Slight Edge Difference Between where You Are and Where You Want to Be
Failure -- any kind of failure (aka struggles, trials, tests, bad luck, bad karma, whatever YOU call it) is nothing more than daily errors in judgment repeated over time.
Success -- luck, prosperity, blessings from God, answers to prayers, good karma -- is nothing more than daily good decisions repeated over time.
If you don't like who you are and where your life is it's not because you lack information or resources or opportunity. It's not because the devil is after you or because God is trying you. It's not bad karma or bad luck, or the government's fault, or because someone 'did you wrong'.
You are where you are and who you are because of the slight edge. The slight edge is how God and the universe and truth work in our lives.
If you don't like what you have in your life it's because you've been making simple daily errors in judgment over time.
So stop blaming your circumstances. Stop blaming anything except yourself. This is your doing.
Pull away the veil that blinds your mind and look at the heart of the matter. Look beyond the circumstances and examine the actions that brought you here.
Then go behind the actions and find the attitudes (aka beliefs or philosophy).
Dig further to discover the thinking patterns that created the attitudes. And that is where you will find the root of all your failure or success. It starts with how YOU think and what YOU believe.
And if your thinking is off in any way, if your philosophy is wrong, you are your own worst enemy.
You're sabotaging your own success.
Is this difficult to swallow? Is it a heavy weight to bear?
But the only time I've made positive improvements in my life has been when I accepted the full weight and responsibility for my errors in judgment and turned them to good daily disciplines.
You Already Have the Secret to Succeeding
Success -- in money, relationships, health, righteousness, leadership -- is not that difficult to achieve. It's not elusive.
You already have all the information you need -- or it is readily available, for free, online.
You don't need more information to transform your life. You don't need to read another book or buy another course or say another prayer (aka vain repetition).
You already have the answers. They are already there, ready and waiting for you.
What you need is to apply the answers. You need to live them.
How do you do that?
By changing the way you think. Because if you don't do that, it doesn't matter how much information or how many answers you have or how many prayers you say.
You could have all the 'how-to' steps to achieve everything you want in life.
But until you change your thinking (your philosophy) you'll never actually put them into action.
Of if you do, you won't stick with it. You'll stop doing them and you'll think, 'this doesn't work.' My life is too hard; my kids are too time-consuming; my boss is too mean; God/Satan has it out for me; I've got bad luck/bad karma; this is just the 'way things are'...
None of that is true, so stop believing it. Stop telling it to yourself. That's the beginning of changing your philosophy.
Daily disciplines work. But only if you stick with them. Day after day after day after day, for months, years, and decades.
Information about how to be successful has always been readily available, but if the person absorbing that information doesn't have the right philosophy to apply it the right way, success will elude their grasp. -- Jeff Olson
There is no magic bullet or bailout to 'success' (aka what you want or need in your life).
It won't come from winning the lottery, praying for it, thinking positive thoughts, doing righteous acts, or waiting for your ship to come in.
It won't come from blaming or complaining to God, or the devil, or the universe, or the government.
If you think you'll get rich by some one-time investment, or lose weight with a quick-fix diet, or pray to God to give you answers to your prayers -- then you will never take the real actions necessary to achieve those goals.
You won't work day after day after day on the small, simple steps that compound over time to produce results.
And the only way to succeed -- in any area of life -- is to practice simple daily disciplines in that area.
Once you understand this philosophy it will become a filter to every tiny or titanic decision you make, every to-do list you create -- every day of your life.
Because it is the things you do every single day -- things that don't seem like they make a difference one way or the other -- that actually make ALL the difference.
They are the things that DO matter. In fact, they are the things that not only make a difference, but they make all the difference. The only difference.
Have faith in the process of simple, positive actions repeated over time.
Trust the process.
The law of nature is, Do the thing, and you shall have the power: but they who do not the thing have not the power." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every Day We Have a Choice
Every morning we have a choice.
We can choose to do things that are easy to do. Or we can choose to NOT do them because they're also easy not to do.
Do we choose to exercise or watch Netflix?
Do we choose to create value or just consume what others have created?
Do we choose to save 10% or spend it?
Do we choose to eat cookies or kale?
Do we choose to build relationships or tear them down?
Do we choose to wish and pray or work?
If we choose the cookies or the wishing or Netflix, will it ruin our life? Of course not. At least not the first or second or seventieth time.
But over a lifetime of choosing it? Yes, that is how lives are ruined. That is how we become broke and broken.
(And don't get me wrong, I'm all for praying and wishing. But only when you actually get to work afterward.)
You see, what we don't often understand is that every day, every hour we are offered the choice of abundant wealth or sinking poverty; vibrant health or debilitating disease; deepening relationships or alienating loneliness.
It's our choice. Every decision will lead to one or the other. It can't not.
It's the slight edge in action. Every day, every moment, every decision of our lives.
Are success and happiness a matter of luck? Is it a blessing from God, an answer to prayer, fate, or good karma?
Is poverty, obesity, or failure a matter of bad luck? Is it fate? Is it bad karma? Is it a curse from Satan because you're so righteous he wants to thwart your every move?
Success or failure comes down to TWO things... your philosophy and your daily disciplines
The SECRET Is In The Easy Things
"What you do today matters. What you do every day matters."
It's not a mystery. It's not allusive.
The reason some people are successful is because they are doing simple things on a daily basis that are easy to do.
These are things that are also easy NOT to do. If you DON'T do them today you won't suddenly drop dead or go broke or get divorced. And that's the problem.
It's also why most people never do them. It's the reason 95% of people are unsuccessful.
(Just to be clear, that doesn't mean you're an overall failure. You might be successful in your career but unsuccessful in your health or relationships. You get the idea.)
Gold medal Olympic athletes eat and sleep. So do people who are overweight.
Financially successful men and women work and are busy. So are those who are broke.
Leaders talk to people and share ideas. So do misfits and oddballs.
Successful and unsuccessful people do the same things.
So what's the difference?
It's a slight twist in the way they do them that comes from awareness and understanding (aka philosophy) of the power behind how we do the small, simple things we do on a daily basis.
It's an understanding of the skillsets, mindsets, and heartsets that 'set' the successful and unsuccessful apart.
That is the difference that makes ALL the difference. The success you want in your life, finances, health, and relationships depends 100% on the little 'insignificant' actions you take (or don't take) on a daily basis.
The Slight Edge is always working. Every day, every hour, every moment, every action you take or don't take.
Whether it is working for you or against you depends on your daily choices and in understanding the nuances.
Time is Working For, or Against, You
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
Most people want to make a quantum leap when it comes to improving their life.
They want instant wealth, instant weight loss, instant relationships.
They want to go straight from planting to harvest.
They skip over cultivate.
The success you want WON'T happen overnight. It won't happen suddenly.
You will achieve it progressively. It is a process, not a destination. In fact, the difference between success and failure is so slight you won't see it happen during the process.
It's not until you have the results (fat or fit, broke or abundant) that the work has already been done. You've realized the results of your slight edge decisions.
Unsuccessful people believe that the little things they do on a daily basis don't really matter.
Successful people realize they are the only things that matter. They realize it's how they cultivate.
And the only place that 'cultivate' happens is in the dimension known as time.
You can't dig up the seed to check how the roots are doing. You have to have patience and let it grow. You'll know it's working when you see the first little sprout poking through the dirt.
But some of us see the sprout and are disappointed.
"I wanted a tree!"
If you base your decisions on what you see right now, you're in trouble.
You want a tree but you see a sprout. So you give up and stop watering and cultivating.
That's where you lose.
Instead, you have to base your decisions on your awareness and understanding (aka your philosophy).
You believe this sprout will turn into a tree, even though it's not one right now. So you keep watering and cultivating, day after day after day.
All you need is time to get your tree.
But if you give up, in 20 years you won't have a tree. And then you'll have to plant again and wait another 20+ years to get your tree (which is better than NOT planting -- better late than never).
Base your daily choices NOT on what you see, but on what you believe to be true.
Start Where You Are With What You Have
Success is not conjured up out of thin air. It does have a beginning.
It starts with a seed, with a penny, with a smile, with a small act.
Greatness is always in the moment of decision. When your kids are screaming. When you've had a bad day. When you're tired. That's where greatness is found -- NOT in some far off moment when you get to perform some great act.
Your success starts with the small decisions you make today.
There is no 'someday'. There is only today.
Your ship is NOT coming in. It's already here, docked and waiting for you to do something about it and guide it to your destination.
God is not waiting for you to be more righteous or worthy to do some great work. The great work for you to do is already here. It's what you do TODAY. Right now. This moment.
You won't be a leader when people finally start listening to you. Start by leading yourself. If you can't do what you say you're going to do -- if you can't keep your own commitments -- how can you inspire and help others?
It starts with you. Right now. Right here. Right where you are.
You know what you have to do. Now do it.
It won't be easy. But you can have the pain of discipline or the pain of ignorance and regret.