James Clear

James Clear quotes on execution

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

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Your success depends on the risks you take. Your survival depends on the risks you avoid.


Your current habits are perfectly designed to deliver your current results.


In a world where information is abundant and easy to access, the real advantage is knowing where to focus.


Anticipate, but don’t expect. Anticipation: You’re excited for what the future holds, but you don’t try to control it. Expectation: You try to predict the future and restrict your happiness to one outcome. Always be excited about the possibilities. Never be entitled to them.


If you... 1) develop a bias for moving fast 2) consistently ask, “What’s the real goal here and is there a better way to accomplish it?” ... you can accomplish a lot in one life.


Life is too short to not be pursuing the best opportunity you know of.


You always hold the rights to your effort, but never to your results. Results are entitled to no one. At best, they are on loan and must be renewed each day. All you own is the right to try.


The optimal strategy might be executing a suboptimal plan at a fast pace. Strategy evolves as lessons are learned—and the person who moves faster, learns faster. Learning is a marathon and perfection is a weighted vest.


Giving your best effort does not mean simply working harder at what you were already doing. It can mean that, but it often means searching harder for a better way to do things. Giving your best effort involves execution and strategy.


What are you passionate about? What is your purpose? What is your one true calling? Questions like these are popular, but can be hard to answer. Inversion provides clarity: You can discover what you want to do simply by eliminating everything you don't want to do.


Until you try your best, you’ll never know if it was actually genes/misfortune/bad luck holding you back.


When you copy best practices, you also copy unseen errors.


Speed matters, but stamina matters even more. Go as fast as possible while staying fully recovered. Go fast. Stay fresh.


Type I thoughts = ideas you have Type II thoughts = ideas you act upon Type I thoughts have never changed the world.


Not enough is said about the power of thinking about one topic for a long period of time. If you revisit a topic continually for a few years, most problems (and many solutions) will occur to you at some point. Expertise can be the gradual accumulation of many modest insights.


Your habits are how you embody a particular identity. “We acquire virtues by first having put them into action... We become just by the practice of just actions, self-controlled by exercising self-control, and courageous by performing acts of courage.” —Aristotle Act to become.


Every creative project starts as an imitation. You begin by mapping what you already know or have previously seen onto the situation. But if you iterate and recombine enough, it becomes an original.


Sometimes parents ask me how to apply Atomic Habits to their kids. I’m starting to think the best way is the most straightforward: apply Atomic Habits to yourself. It’s hard to convince them a habit should be a priority when you only make it an option. Show them your best self.


For ideas to truly stick, we must make contact with them repeatedly.

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