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1 hour to edit 1 paragraph

I just spent 1 hour editing a single paragraph in my book. (Scroll to the end if you want to see the finished paragraph)

Undertaking a big project, like writing your first book, can be overwhelming. 
I started writing this book 5 years ago and gave up. I can’t remember why. I probably had an excuse that sounded good – not enough time, too much on my plate, other priorities to focus on, it wasn’t that important, I didn’t know enough, not feeling ready etc. 
August 2023, I decided to actually write and finish the book. 
December 2023, I finished my first draft. 55,000 words. 
May 2024, I finished my first edit. 62,000 words.
I have now started my second round of editing. I have three goals.

  1. Make it flow.
  2. Make it as short as possible, but no shorter.
  3. Make sure I am proud of it and it will have the best shot of helping anyone who reads it.  

After spending 1 hour editing a single paragraph in a 62,000 word manuscript, I questioned my whole life’s existence. “Will I ever finish this thing?”  

‘The Slight Edge’ by Jeff Olson explains why I will finish. It is a powerful book. I read it years ago and loved it. I started reading it again and not only do I still love it, I need it. 

The slight edge is a philosophy that small, simple and seemingly insignificant disciplines, if committed to regularly, will lead to massive results in the future. 

15 minutes of exercise a day. 
Reading 10 pages of non fiction a day. 
Telling your partner that you love them every day.
Catching up with your parents once a week.
Meditating for 5 minutes a day. 
Reviewing your finances monthly. 
Gratitude journaling every day. 
Date night with your partner once a week.
Catch up with your friends once a month. 
Write for 30 minutes every day. 

If you committed to any of these actions for a few years, wouldn’t you be surprised if your life didn’t dramatically improve?

Olson says that all of these seemingly small actions matter. There’s a catch. Most people don’t keep doing them. Here are 3 reasons why.

  1. They are easy to do so they are easy not to do. “Ahh I will just do it tomorrow”
  2. The results are invisible at the start. “I walked for 15 minutes today. I am still unfit.”
  3. They seem insignificant. “I meditated for 5 minutes today. So what?”

So here I am. 1 hour to edit a single paragraph. 
It was easy not to do. 
The results are almost invisible.   
It seems insignificant. 
Here’s what I know. 

Seemingly insignificant actions + Time + Faith = Ridiculous results

To ensure your own happiness, fall in love with the left side of the equation because it accounts for 99.9% of the journey. This way, even if you don’t get the result, you still have an epic time. 
What is a seemingly insignificant action you need to commit to or keep committing to that will lead you towards a ridiculous result in your life? 

If you found this article useful, SHARE your biggest takeaway with me. Just reply to this email. For bonus points, SHARE it with someone you care about.

For those of you who are curious.

Old paragraph:
Life will slap you in the face. The first time I was ‘slapped’ was in high school. When I was 14 years old, my hairline had already started to recede. It looked like the shoreline before a tsunami. I had big ears that put Dumbo the elephant to shame. I also had a huge afro. To any seasoned high school bully, I looked like lunch. I was teased. A lot. There were a lot of tears during this period. Just to be clear, I wasn’t bullied for the afro. The afro was epic. 
Edited paragraph:
Life slaps everyone in the face. The first time I was slapped was in high school. I had big ears, a receding hairline and a massive afro. To any seasoned bully, I looked like lunch. I was teased. A lot. There were a lot of tears during this period. Just to be clear, I wasn’t bullied for the afro. The afro was epic. 

Much love to you and of course myself,

Dr G

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