James Clear

James Clear quotes on embracing change

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

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The idea that "change is hard" is one of the biggest myths about human behavior. The truth is, you change effortlessly and all the time. The primary job of the brain is to adjust your behavior based on the environment. Design a better environment. Change will happen naturally.


A mind that never replaces old beliefs is like a cup that never replaces old water—stale and no longer useful. “The usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness.” —Bruce Lee


The stronger your current beliefs, the weaker your future insights. The hand that clings to an old friend cannot embrace a new one.


The Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change: What is rewarded is repeated. What is punished is avoided. You learn what to do in the future based on what you were rewarded for doing (or punished for doing) in the past. Positive emotions cultivate habits. Negative emotions destroy them.


It is not necessary to change a person in order to change their behavior. Just change their environment.


In the long-run, adaptation is more useful than optimization. At some point, the environment you optimized for will shift. The rules of the game will change. The flexible prevail.


It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis. It is only when looking back 2 or 5 or 10 years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent.


From Chapter 2 of Atomic Habits: "True behavior change is identity change. When your behavior and your identity are fully aligned, you are no longer pursuing change. You are simply acting like the type of person you already believe yourself to be."


Changes that seem small and unimportant at first will compound into remarkable results if you’re willing to stick with them for years.


If you’re serious about making real change, then you have to start small. Tiny actions become consistent patterns.


From chapter 1 of Atomic Habits: “If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change.”


If you're serious about changing your habits for good, one of the most important things you can do is change slowly.


The best way to change the world is in concentric circles: start with yourself and work your way out from there.


The strategies that successful people are using today are probably not the same ones they were using when they began their journey.

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