James Clear

James Clear quotes on competition

Author of the #1 NYT bestseller Atomic Habits. I write about building better habits.

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Modeling a behavior is 100x stronger than telling someone to act differently. Kids imitate the habits of their parents. Teammates match the competitive energy of one another. Employees learn to manage like their supervisor. Be the standard and others will raise their standards.


Before you begin, think as if you are a lazy person. Assume the competition will work harder. Your only chance is a better strategy. After you begin, work as if you are a dumb person. Assume the competition is smarter and more talented. Your only chance is to outwork them.


If you wish you would take something more seriously, do it publicly. Publishing an article pressures you to think clearly. Competing in a race pressures you to train consistently. Presenting on any topic pressures you to learn it. Social pressure forces you to up your game.


The willingness to do the unsexy work is a competitive advantage.


Assumptions that are good to operate by even if they aren’t always true: -The competition is smarter and better funded than you. -Without a great product, nothing else matters. -Projects will take 50% longer than expected. -10 minutes early is 5 minutes late.

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