'Success Curves'

In the book the Slight Edge Olson and Mann offer an interesting take on curves.

They say that those who follow a ‘success curve’ learn from the past and use it towards their future by way of taking tangible mini steps that anyone reasonably could follow e.g. a few extra minutes ‘studying’ or ‘walking’ per day – even if just those extra few steps.

Those on a failure curve conversely keep their attention on the past and those aspects no longer nor ever within their control.

The success curve approach requires trying + failing + getting back up + incremental gains over and over again.

It’s cliché to say but worth throwing it in. At the time of writing this we have an 8 month old who has just learnt to crawl. It’s opened up new worlds for him. The path there was a frustrating one at times when he was trying to just move about. He got there though and is still on his own path of developmental mastery.

The difference for us as more mature adults is we can make the path towards mastery a more deliberate and actionable one.

Olson and Mann offer these four tools:

1. Momentum – instead of one giant leap of change, make regular daily positive moves towards a goal – no matter how initially small.

2. Complete – make finishing a task a ‘go to’ habit – a fundamental principle in your repertoire.

3. Reflection – take time out regularly to reflect and calibrate and recalibrate. This may be flying solo, through writing or through engagement with someone.

4. Celebration – Celebrate when you do it right.


That’s a cool curve.



p.s. which of these four are you great at? Which of these four need some work?

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