James Clear

James Clear quotes on environment

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

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Externally, be humble. Internally, be confident.


Your actions are a consequence of your thoughts. Your thoughts are a consequence of what you consume. And in the modern age, what you consume is largely a consequence of how you select and refine your social media feed. Choose better inputs. Get better outputs.


One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior. New habits seem achievable when you see others doing them every day.


The more disciplined your environment is, the less disciplined you need to be. Don't swim upstream.


The key, if you want to build habits that last, is to join a group where the desired behavior is the normal behavior.


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.


Books for mindset. Quiet time to think for strategy. Conversations with successful peers for tactics.


3 things that help habits stick: 1) Repetition. Habits form based on frequency, not time. 2) Stable context. If the context is always changing, so is the behavior. You need a reliable environment. 3) Positive emotions. If it feels good, you’ll want to repeat it.


The most effective networking strategy I’ve found has nothing to do with conferences, cocktail hours, cold emails, or any of the common ideas you hear. 1) Do interesting things. 2) Share them publicly. Like-minded people will come to you.


In business, you'll learn more by making friends with peers who are two steps ahead of you than you will from mentors. In life, you'll learn more by making friends with someone who is two decades older than you than you will from peers.


If you want to be in the top 1% of a particular domain, then you can’t take your cues from and follow the social norms of 99% of people. This is harder than it sounds. We are wired to imitate. The further you want to climb, the more carefully you need to construct your tribe.


The way to attract good luck is to be reliable in a valuable area. The more you repeatedly deliver value, the more people seek you out for that value. Your reputation is a magnet. Once you become known for something, relevant opportunities come to you with no extra work.


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.


Overrated goals: -Get a high-status job -Build a big social media following -Hit the bestseller list one week -Raise lots of money from investors Underrated goals: -Get a flexible job -Build a big email list -Write a book that sells every week -Earn lots of profit from customers


The more exceptional your environment, the less exceptional you need to be. True for your physical environment. True for your digital environment. True for your social environment. Upgrade all three phases and mix in some consistent effort, and you've got a potent combination.


In the long-run (and often in the short-run), your willpower will never beat your environment.


Modern society is defined by an excess of opportunity. We have more information, more products, and more options than ever before. As a result, curating, filtering, and refining are more important skills than ever before. Those who edit best will find the signal in the noise.


Humans are imitation machines. We mostly learn what to do by copying those around us. In general, we imitate the habits of three groups: 1. The close - what are friends and family doing? 2. The many - what is the crowd doing? 3. The powerful - what are those with status doing?


People discuss the importance of choosing the right city to live in, but it’s even more granular than that: choose the right neighborhood. In my case, I didn’t appreciate how much living in a walkable neighborhood with many trees would impact my day-to-day happiness. It’s huge.


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


If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. However, if you’re the dumbest person in the room, you’re also in the wrong room. Do the reading, hone your skills, and prepare diligently. Earn the right to be in the room.


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.


Changing your habits often requires you to change your tribe. Each tribe has a set of shared expectations. Behaviors that conform to the shared expectations are attractive. Behaviors that conflict with the shared expectations are unattractive. It's hard to go against the group.


Whenever you hang out with people that reinforce your good habits, you are naturally crowding out your bad habits at the same time.


One pitfall of modern life is that we often measure ourselves by that which is easy to measure. -the number on the scale -the ROI of the portfolio -the number of likes on a post It is unlikely that what can be measured is the best way to measure a life. You are not a number.


I've never seen someone consistently stick to positive habits in a negative environment. It's hard to resist the pull of what engulfs us. Thankfully, you don't have to be the victim of your environment. You can also be the architect of it. Design carefully.


It is more effective to design an environment where you don't need willpower than to rely on willpower to conquer your environment.


It’s impossible to live a proactive life in a reactive environment. Technology increases the number of triggers in your environment. Soon, you are reacting anytime your phone beeps or buzzes. To take back your time, take away the triggers that interrupt it. Live proactively.


A simple explanation for a large amount of human behavior: Most days, we'd rather be wrong with the crowd than be right by ourselves. The reward of belonging to the tribe and being accepted is often greater than the reward of winning an argument, looking smart, or finding truth.


Believing a lie makes you an outcast if others think it is a lie. Believing a lie helps you belong if others believe it is true. Many ideas persist not because they are true, but because they are unifying.


Surround yourself with people who have the same goals as you. You’ll rise together.


It's unhealthy to fill your stomach with junk food. But it's just as bad to fill your mind with junk thoughts or your life with junk people.


3 ways to become infinitely happy: 1) Don't compare yourself to others. 2) Talk to strangers and make new friends. 3) Live in the moment.


Physical environment is one of the most overlooked drivers of habits and behavior change. It has a profound impact on our daily actions.


From Chapter 9 of Atomic Habits: “Your culture sets your expectation for what is “normal.” Surround yourself with people who have the habits you want to have yourself. You’ll rise together.”


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

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