The Slight Edge

There must be thousand of people that, like me, are on a journey of self-discovery and improvement. To help me on my quest for enlightenment (or some sort of very basic self-realization), I’ve been reading.  Every single day, I spend some time reading books and articles to help me uncover ways to live a fuller life.

Although I’ve always been a reader, the last few years my reading has been more of business articles and websites.  It’s been a great way to learn about topics that I really did need to learn about, but that reading did not help me “reflect and direct” – in other words, where I am now and where I am going.   I’m embarrassed to say that over the past ten years, my reading has come in spurts.   On one hand, I’ve lost so much time, but on the other hand, I probably wasn’t ready to take this journey.  I was having babies, raising toddlers, building a home and working full time.

“The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Happiness and Success” was written by Jeff Olsen.  It’s been a ‘self-help’ best seller for years and I can see why. There is an entire chapter titled “Invest in Yourself”.  (Love, love, love it!)

“The greatest gift you could ever give yourself is also the wisest business investment you could ever make…. What is this mysterious gift? It is your personal development. Investing in your own improvement, your own personal growth and betterment, is all these things and more.”

The goal of my 40th year is exactly that – personal growth and betterment.  Time is not in our control. We cannot make it go faster or slower no matter how we try. I always say to my kids, “Why are you growing up on me? Why is time moving so fast?” Sometimes I stop and think of how the amount of time we have is finite. All of us have the same – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When I look back on my life, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve lived a lot… but have I used my time wisely?

I’ve opened my eyes this year to the importance of making every day count.  I do not miss a day in my journal where I pray, affirm, visualize, reflect and read.  I take the time to invest in my health, exercising everyday. If I miss it, there is a really good reason and I’m ready to go again the next day.  I‘m so aware right that now that I wonder if I was just sleepwalking before. 

Today my children are 7 and 5.   As they grow, they change a little every day.  One day they won’t ask me to carry them back up to bed  – or to cuddle “one more minute” – or help them get their sneakers on.  One day I won’t be woken up to “Mommy!” and the house will be quiet.

Last night we had movie night.  The three of us were snuggled on the couch under a blanket.  How glorious to have their little arms around my neck and how we just come together, so comfortable and relaxed.

To appreciate those moments I have to OWN my time. I can’t give away the most valuable resource I have anymore.  I am sick of being busy.  It’s not productive and it’s not healthy. I’ve done a really good job this year setting those boundaries, constantly trying to course correct when I feel it’s off again.

Investing in Yourself is learning how to take control of your time and use your talents as fully as possible, empowering you to live your best life.   I’m reevaluating my personal philosophy, putting me in a stronger position to direct the course of my life. As I learn more, the challenge is in the doing.  I’ve started by coaching and blogging, stretching muscles I haven’t used in a long time.  It’s so early in this journey that I am not to the destination yet – but I am confident that I’m on the road there.

There is so much time and so much life left to live.  It’s my thirteen year wedding anniversary today. That’s thirteen years of memories, romance, adventure and love.  I have ten more years to raise my children, twenty more years in the workforce, and thirty more years of other meaningful work.  I hope I have fifty more years of living.

My slight edge is my advantage. I am so happy I read this book, helping me to solidify this concept that has loosely governed my life!  Good things are ahead.

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