James Clear

James Clear quotes on perfection

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

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The climb to the top is better than the view from the peak. It’s progress, not perfection, that we really crave.


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.


There will always be room for high quality work. Excellence is perpetually scarce.


Perfection is brittle. Imperfection is antifragile. The more you try to appear flawless—in work, in love, in life—the less you can “have problems.” But if you identify as someone who is always learning and evolving, then facing problems is normal and you can start solving them.


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.


Start now. Optimize later. Imperfect starts can always be improved. Obsessing over a perfect plan will never take you anywhere on its own.


The “bad” workouts are the most important ones. It's easy to train when you feel good, but it’s crucial to show up when you don’t feel like it—even if you do less than you hope. Going to gym for 15 minutes might not improve your performance, but it reaffirms your identity.


In many cases, improvement is not about doing more things right, but about doing less things wrong.


What things require a period of intense focus up front to become established, but persist & continue to perform after you move on to something else? -writing books about evergreen topics -saving & investing in passive index funds -outsourcing yourself from a business


Observation: The people who do valuable work often have a remarkable willingness to say no to distractions and focus on one thing.

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