James Clear

James Clear quotes on life

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

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Habits that have a high rate of return in life: - sleep 8+ hours each day - lift weights 3x week - go for a walk each day - save at least 10 percent of your income - read every day - drink more water and less of everything else - leave your phone in another room while you work


Aim to be great in 10 years. Build health habits today that lead to a great body in 10 years. Build social habits today that lead to great relationships in 10 years. Build learning habits today that lead to great knowledge in 10 years. Long-term thinking is a secret weapon.


Don’t spend what you haven’t earned. Avoid financial debt. Don’t spend money you haven’t earned. Avoid social debt. Don’t spend goodwill you haven’t earned. Avoid calendar debt. Don’t spend (free) time you haven’t earned. The disciplined earner can be a guilt-free spender.


Externally, be humble. Internally, be confident.


Asymmetric advice: Advice from someone who can’t use it. -A rich person saying “Money isn’t everything.” -A fit person saying “Beauty is on the inside.” -A powerful person saying “Stop caring what others think of you.” It’s easy to give advice when you don’t face the downside.


Be forgiving with your past self. Be strict with your present self. Be flexible with your future self.


A simple strategy that will save you so many headaches: don't care about winning trivial arguments. Someone says something you don't agree with? Smile, nod, and move on to more important things. Life is short. Not caring about having the last word will save you so much time.


Win the day. There are many questions swirling right now... How long will this last? How will we manage? How will we recover? How worried should I be? Leave it be. Nobody knows the answers. Have the best day you can, today. Win the moment in front of you now. Win the day.


You are richer than 93% of people. Not in money, but in time. 108 billion people have lived throughout history. 93% of them are dead. You have what every king and queen, every pharaoh and ruler, every CEO and celebrity of the past would give all their wealth for: Today.


Correct your mistakes before they become your habits.


Where you spend your attention is where you spend your life.


As best I can tell, to achieve exceptional results you need 4 things: (1) Quantity: You take lots of shots. (2) Quality: You take thoughtful shots. (3) Consistency: You keep shooting for a long time. (4) Luck: You get a few favorable bounces.


Most topics are not worth having an opinion about.


My dad just told me he starts each morning by reminding himself of three things: 1) I am free. 2) I don't have to do anything. 3) I have time and space. I thought it was brilliant. We all have responsibilities, but entering the day in this way reduces stress and overwhelm.


The most satisfying form of freedom is not a life without responsibilities, but a life where you are free to choose your responsibilities.


Reading is like fresh food for the mind. The consumption fills you with wisdom. Writing is like exercise for the mind. The effort leads to stronger ideas. Meditation is like fasting for the mind. The practice clears your mental digestive tract.


Ambition is when you close the gap between your circumstances and your expectations. Entitlement is when you expect others to close the gap between your circumstances and your expectations.


You are the average of the five stories you tell yourself the most.


Life is short. And if life is short, then moving quickly matters. Launch the product. Write the book. Ask the question. Take the chance. Be thoughtful, but get moving.


School requires you to learn about things after the answer has already been decided. Life requires you to learn about things while the answer is in the process of being decided.


Feel compliments as deeply as you feel insults.


It’s crazy how often I feel like I need to resolve some big problem in my life when all I really need is one of the following: 1. A glass of water 2. A 10-minute walk outside 3. A good night of sleep 3 simple things that resolve many of the stresses and anxieties of daily life.


We want solutions, but what we really need are attitudes. You don't need abs, but rather an attitude of training. You don't need the answer, but rather an attitude of curiosity. You don't need an easier life, but rather an attitude of perseverance. Attitude precedes outcome.


You elicit from the world what you put into it. Want to attract reliable people? Be reliable. Want to attract trustworthy people? Be trustworthy. Want to attract welcoming people? Be welcoming. Want to attract exceptional people? Be exceptional.


Successful outcomes are built up through good choices over time. A profitable business is never a choice, it is a series of choices. A fit body is never a choice, it is a series of choices. A strong relationship is never a choice, it is a series of choices.


Better to live simply and be debt free than to live lavishly and be stressed.


Simplicity before understanding complexity is ignorance. Simplicity after understanding complexity is genius.


Ultimately, the only way to truly be in control of your life is to be in control of your thoughts.


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.


People keep reading self-help and revisiting the same ideas because that’s precisely what we need: to be reminded. The problem is not that information is unhelpful, but that attention is fleeting. Nobody focuses on one idea every minute of the day. Good books refocus the mind.


How to prepare for bad luck: -spend less than you earn -build an emergency fund -get fit before you need to -be the friend you’ll need some day -ask “How could X go wrong?” and plan for failure -build confidence by conquering small challenges when life is easy


Adversity reveals strength. Comfort reveals weakness.


Power is influence over external events. Peace is influence over internal events.


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


Never be so busy comparing what you have that you forget how fortunate you are to have it.


There are two ways to live a longer life: 1) Biologically. Extend the timeline between your birth and your death. 2) Psychologically. Fit more lives into whatever time you are given. Make each decade a rich life and you can live a handful of them before you are done.


Life gets easier when you don’t blame other people and focus on what you can control.


Your biological age is the number of days you’ve lived. Your psychological age is the number of thoughts you’ve entertained. Your sociological age is the number of contributions you’ve made.


A hidden danger in modern relationships: You can only date/marry a complete human with flaws. But you can follow people on social media in the top 1% of looks/smarts/wealth/etc without seeing their flaws and compare your relationship to them. Don’t judge the whole by one part.


Mental toughness is persistence not intensity.


Praise others. It will bring them peace of mind. Do not expect others to praise you. It will bring you peace of mind.


The tension of life: Thinking only of today degrades the experience of tomorrow. Delay gratification. Thinking only of tomorrow degrades the experience of today. Don’t wait to begin living. Invest in your tomorrows and savor your todays. A delicate balance.


Someone once suggested that I occasionally ask myself, “What am I really trying to achieve here?” Whenever I remember to do it, I find the question generates useful answers.


A common path to failure is ignoring the fundamentals while searching for a better way to do things. A common path to success is ignoring things while searching for a better way to do the fundamentals.


Authenticity is the gap between your thoughts and your actions. The smaller the gap, the more genuine the lifestyle.


One form of innovation is originality. Another form is synthesis. People often focus so much on being original that they overlook the value of synthesizing ideas from different sources. There's a lot of value in connecting previously unconnected ideas.


Work hard. If results depend on effort, then you will carry yourself far. If results depend on effort and luck, then you will be focused on the area you can influence. If results depend on luck alone, then the outcome is random, but you will have won the battle with yourself.


Major life changes—moving to a new city, starting a new job, ending a relationship, getting married, having kids, etc—will often make life harder for the first 100 days before improving. Not always true, but it’s a reminder that early struggle doesn’t mean it was a bad choice.


Complicated rules paralyze people. Simple rules empower people.


The events of your past are fixed. The meaning of your past is not. The influence of every experience in your life is determined by the meaning you assign to it. Assign a more useful meaning to your past and it becomes easier to take a more useful action in the present.

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