Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Olson’

Plant the Seed and Read

Plant the seed of knowledge and wisdom in your brain. Read.

Pick a subject. Any subject, whatever you like. Botany, Psychology, General Literature, Basket Weaving. Go to the store and buy a book, an authoritative book on your chosen subject. Turn off the TV, sit under a lamp, and read 10 pages of that book. Put the book away, turn back on the TV. The next day, do the same thing, read 10 pages. Read 10 pages the next day, and the next day, and the next. Assuming the book you are reading is 300 pages long, it will take you a month to read that book. Not very impressive.

However, before you finish that book, have another one ready to read on the subject you’ve written. When you’re finished with the first book, pick up the second, and read 10 pages. The next day, read 10 pages. Take this book also in 10 page increments till you’re finished.  Don’t forget to have another standing by. At the end of two months, you wouldn’t be an expert, but you could probably keep pace listening to a couple of experts discussing the subject.

At the end of a year, you would have read 12 books on the subject of your choice, assuming the average volume is 300 pages long. Some may be longer, and some may be shorter. At the end of a year, you would be able to hold up your end of a conversation on your subject with just about anyone.

Do this a second year, and a third, and a fourth. At the end of 5 years you will have read just over 60 authoritative volumes on the subject of your choice. By this time you are more than likely able to have deep, intricate discussion on the subject of your choice, and probably have been for a while. You have gained this ability by burning the time it takes to read 10 pages in a day.

10 years. Read 10 pages a day on a subject about which you love to read. In 10 years you will have read 121 authoritative books, 36,500 pages, on the subject of your choice. Here is an amazing thing. This boggled my mind when I first heard the concept. At the end of 10 years, reading just 10 pages per day, each and every day, on the subject of your choice, you will be a high ranking expert on that subject. You will have been exposed to more information on your chosen subject than 95% of the World population. Even if all you want to read are Dime Romance or Sci – Fi stories with only recreational merit, you can become an expert in those genres.

Jeff Olson tells us in his book The Slight Edge that little things, done consistently over time, bring about phenomenal results. The problem Jeff proposes, however, is that these things are generally so easy to do they’re easy not to do.

Take a little bit of time, and work on you yourself the way you want yourself to be. What is it you want to do? Don’t miss a day. Nobody will do it for you the way you want it to be done. You’re already spectacular. Put a spit shine on your shoes so you can watch yourself walking in the steps of the path on which you want to be.



We’re coming up on the New Year fast and furious right about now.  This is a time people project their thoughts and aspirations into the coming year.  New Years resolutions have been a fad for so long they are now a tradition.  Sadly, failed New Years resolutions are epidemic, to the point of being a cliché.

People promise themselves that they will quit smoking, or lose weight, or read through the Bible, or keep their checkbook balanced, or learn to tap dance.  By January 3rd we are still feverishly perusing our resolution.  By the second week of January we have been making excuses not to be so diligent for several days.  By the first week of February, the resolution is usually forgotten till the end of December, when the resolution is reaffirmed.

Why?  Mind you, I am not pointing fingers; I am as guilty of dropping resolutions as anyone else … which makes me doubly guilty because I have an understanding of the dynamics of thought and action underlying the process of personal change.  Why do people make New Years resolutions, then frustraitedly find themselves making the same resolution at the end of the next year as well?

The first thing we have to understand is that we didn’t just fall off the turnip truck fully the person we now are.  During you age you have spent each and every one of your moments sculpting yourself.  However old you are is how many years you’ve spent developing yourself, your psyche, your habits, your physique, your relationships.  Under these conditions, change takes more than wishful thinking.

Jeff Olson tells us that little things, done consistently over time, lead us to our failures as well as our successes.  Furthermore, seed a thought, grow an action, reap a habit; seed an action, grow a habit, reap a lifestyle; seed a habit, grow a lifestyle, reap a legacy.

Get a piece of paper and write five paragraphs.  In the first paragraph, write what it is you want to do, and why.  Be brief, you’re going to carry this piece of paper around with you.  In the second paragraph, describe the end result you want to bring about … this is the pie in the sky paragraph.  In the third paragraph, write what obstacles you may encounter, and possible ways to work around them.  In the fourth paragraph, describe the actions you intend to take in order to bring about the end result you desire.  In the fifth paragraph, outline who is responsible for what, when, where, why, and how.

Fold this piece of paper neatly, and put it in your pocket.  Take it out of your pocket and read it at least once a day, preferably more.  Then, rethink, revise, and rewrite.

Till next time, remember, you can do anything you want to do.  However, it helps a lot if you have a plan.  It helps even more if you have that plan written, and refered to often.

Thank you for reading.  You’re spectacular.

Plus 16 to Minus 1

Jeff Olson, author of The Slight Edge, tells us something alarming about the ratio of 16 to 1.  Jeff tells us that it takes 16 instances of hearing positive input to counteract the effects of 1 instance of hearing negative input.

Not an easy ratio to overcome.  Throughout our lives we can really have a hard time keeping positive in the lead.  Here’s a factor that compounds the problem.  Your subconscious mind only knows you tangibly, it has no contact with the outside world except through your conscious mind.  Your subconscious mind exists like one of the prisoners in Platos Cave.  If you’re walking down the street, and some guy yells ‘You dumb-ass!’ at another guy across the street, your subconscious tends to register you as the addressee.

You can’t avoid negativity completely.  Sometimes it’s actually a good thing to hear.  A fellow needs to know if his pants are ripped, or his hair is on fire.  Likewise, you need to tell a fellow if his pants are ripped, or his hair is on fire.  With a ratio of 16 to 1, we should consciously limit our exposure to negative input.  Here, again, we should revisit the The Nobel Eightfold Path prescribed by The Great Buddha, Prince  Siddhartha Gautama.

Avoid people who bask in negativity.  Avoid other sources of negativity … yes, the TV, the radio, and the news paper are notorious sources of negativity (HINT: read a good book for entertainment, and find another source for the News).  Count your blessings … really, sit down and name them; I usually tell people at least 50 each and every day.  If you can’t say something good about someone or some thing, or you can’t put what you want to say in positive terms, don’t say anything.  Don’t do anything that compromises your moral standards.  Don’t think negative things, do think positive things.  Be, yourself, a beacon of positivity.  Like forgiveness, these things are more for your own health and hygiene than for anyone elses, although these things will ultimately benefit others in the long run.

Cut back on sources of exposure to negative input.

Till next time, keep it positive, because you are spectacular.

Little Things

Jeff Olson is a billionaire.  His life story is one of those rags to riches tales common among the very wealthy here in the United States.  Basically, Mr. Olsen was a beach bum who woke up one morning and said to himself, ‘I ain’t living like this no more!’  The rest is business history.

In his book The Slight Edge Jeff tells a story about a woman working in an airport out of which he frequently flew.  She operated a shoe shine stand in the lobby of the air port.  She was bright, and congenial, and always eager to take care of her customers.  Jeff noticed that she always had a book handy to read when she wasn’t busy.  He also noticed that the books she always had handy to read when she wasn’t busy were romance novels.

I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with romance novels, except for the fact that like Gilligans Island, or The Love Boat, they are strictly entertainment.  They are fictitious people doing fictitious things in fictitious places during fictitious times.

Though apparently happy, and apparently well adjusted, the woman was also apparently not very well off.  That is to say, she wasn’t affording herself nor the World at Large the better part of her potential.

The woman didn’t ask Jeff for his counsel so what she did with herself was none of Jeffs business.  However, like the archetypes in romance novels, Jeff pondered the woman archetypically.

What if the woman chose a field of interest to study outside of absolute entertainment … philosophy, literature, psychology, anthropology.  What if she sat down her romance novel, picked up a book on her selected subject, read 10 pages from that book, closed it, sat it back down, and picked back up her romance novel to read?  What would happen if she just read 10 pages of substantial materiel per day on a selected subject.

Here’s what would happen.  In just under a month, she would have finished a 250 page volume on her subject.  Nice, but I don’t think it would qualify her for going on a speaking tour.  In one year, reading just 10 pages per day, she would have read fourteen 250 page volumes on her selected subject, and be just over halfway through a fifteenth volume.  At this point, she would be well on her way to becoming an expert on the subject.  At the end of ten years the woman would have read one hundred and forty six 250 page volumes on her subject.  At this point she would statistically be among the top 5% of those knowledgeable and learned on her selected subject … and, I’d venture to say more valuable than minimum wage.

What do you read?  What do you watch?  What do you listen to?  You don’t’ have to be a slave to personal development to develop personally.  However, like Mr. Olsen preaches, little things, easy to do, so easy to do they are easy not to do, done consistently over time, ultimately bring about phenomenal results.

Hocus Focus!

Working through the Leadership Traits is taking a lot more time than I expected. I wish I had more time to dedicate to writing. But, I don’t, and it’s all good.

I’m really in to a branch of study I guess you’d call Success Psychology. This informal (for the time being) branch of Psychology explores why, and how humans accomplish things … particularly extraordinary things. As it turns out, the seeds of success are located between each and every individuals ears, and the only thing that rabbits foot has to do with it is a concept I call Empowerment Mechanismatics.

I came across an interesting exercise demonstrating the power of Focus. I can thank Tony Robbins for the demonstration.

Reading ahead is cheating.

I’d like for you to get a piece of paper, and a pen or pencil. When you’re ready, I’d like for you to take a few seconds and look around the room. You don’t need a timer, say a short rhyme while you’re looking around the room. ‘Sing a Song of Six Pence’ works for me.

Now, while you’re looking around the room, I’d like for you to make a mental note of everything you see that is brown. Don’t write anything down yet.

Ready … Go!

OK! What I’d like for you do to next is square that piece of paper up in front of you, take your pen, or pencil, and write down everything you took mental note of that was red. Ha! You thought I was going to say brown.

Now, go ahead and do the exercise again, except this time, I’d like for you to take mental notes of things in the room that are red, instead of brown. Use the same nursery rhyme to time yourself, and then list out your findings on your piece of paper.

When you’re finished, you’ll probably notice that you’ve stretched the criteria for a red object just a little. You’ve probably included objects that are maroon, or pink, or reddish brown.

Here’s the punch line: you are going to find for what you are looking, and you are also gong to find things proximal to what you are looking for … stretch the envelope of definition … get more.

If you walked around all day saying to yourself, ‘Find red stuff!’, how much red stuff do you think you’d find. Huge amount of red stuff is what you’d find. Now, what if you did that all week, all month, all year … ten years? Red stuff would seem to be begging for a chance to get in your field of vision.

Happiness, prosperity, love, health … all these desirable things are as tangible as red stuff. Think about and focus on good things, focus on positive things, and you’ll find good things. After a while good things will be begging to find a way to get within your reach. Unfortunately, think about and focus on bad things, focus on negative things, and you’ll find bad things. After a while bad things will be begging to find a way to get at you in a World of hurt.   Notice my verbiage here … you have to reach over and pick out the good things you want when they come at you; bad things are not so polite as to entertain your selectivity.

Jeff Olson tells me in the guise of his book The Slight Edge that it takes 16 instances of positive exposure to negate the effects of just 1 instance of negative exposure … and that’s an instance of negative exposure from a complete stranger.  That’s a difficult ratio to overcome.  Limit your exposure to negative input in any form, and be vigilant toward exposing yourself to positive input, especially in the form of your own thought processes.

So, till next time, keep the good thoughts churning in your head, because your share of all the good in the Cosmos is waiting for you to go get it.