James Clear

James Clear quotes on personal growth

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

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Most people need consistency more than they need intensity. Intensity: -run a marathon -write a book in 30 days -silent meditation retreat Consistency: -don't miss a workout for 2 years -write every week -daily silence Intensity makes a good story. Consistency makes progress.


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.


Maturity is learning how to start when you feel like procrastinating and learning how to listen when you feel like talking.


Good advice I received early on: When someone says no to your request, they usually mean “not right now” or “not in that way.” Most people want to help others, but there are many priorities competing for our time. Don’t take it personally. Ask again later. Ask differently.


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.


Entrepreneurship is a personal growth engine disguised as a business pursuit.


5 things to consider removing next year: -one toxic person -one annoying customer -one topic that robs your attention -one belief that’s holding you back -one commitment that isn’t worth the effort You don’t have to add things to your life to improve it.


Your identity can hold you back: -I'm terrible with directions. -I have a sweet tooth. -I'm bad at math. ...or build you up: -I'm the type of person who doesn't miss workouts. -I finish what I start. -I read every day. Build habits that reinforce your desired identity.


Remember what your failures taught you. Forget how your failures made you feel.


Your body adapts to what you eat. Your mind adapts to what you consume. Your soul adapts to what you love. What you feed yourself today is who you become tomorrow.


The most important conversation is the conversation you have with yourself each day.


The paradox of risk: (1) Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Lose the basket and you lose it all. (2) Don't put your eggs in too many baskets. The more baskets you manage, the less energy you can put into each one. It's risky to do things halfway. Diversified, but focused.


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.


Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.


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


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


Start with who you wish to become. Shift to how that person would act. Shrink to what you can control.


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.


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.


The process of growth is the process of choosing your values, beliefs, and actions rather than imitating them.


Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your identity. This is why habits are crucial. They cast repeated votes for being a type of person.


The art of living well is a dance between extremes. Planning for the future vs. being present in the moment. Seeing the big picture vs. focusing on the details. Working hard vs. relaxing fully. On then off. Off then on. The challenge is knowing which move life calls for now.


To achieve success, you must be willing to take risks. To take risks, you must be willing to be vulnerable. Therefore: To achieve success, you must be willing to be vulnerable.


Don’t put in average effort and claim that you want exceptional results.


It’s more important to have good questions than good answers. Answers—even good ones—are context dependent. Questions are versatile. They can guide you even if the situation changes.


When learning, explore widely. When mastering, focus narrowly.


We hold onto our flaws because they are insurance for our failures. Every fear serves a purpose. When we cling to unhelpful beliefs and old fears, we can blame failure on them. Growth requires the courage to give our best effort and not blame our flaws as the cause of failure.


The person who asks questions is more helpful than the person who offers advice.


Start more books. Quit most of them. Read the great ones twice.


Ultimately, anyone who wishes to fulfill their potential must come to terms with the endless nature of self-improvement. Specific goals or projects may have a beginning and an end, but the process of improvement goes on forever. There is no finish line.


Billionaire investor Seth Klarman on small, but consistent growth: "The effects of compounding even moderate returns over many years are compelling, if not downright mind-boggling." The same could be said of our habits. Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.


Fall in love with the ritual. Fall in love with the process. Fall in love with the practice. The results can take care of themselves.


It doesn’t matter what you are doing, if you only work when you’re motivated, then you’ll never be consistent enough to become a pro.


Make the choices that are right for you. People will criticize you either way.


The best advice in the world is useless without a willingness to self-experiment.


Meditation is one habit I've struggled for years to build. And one key reason is because I held a common misconception: I always believed meditation was supposed to be relaxing. This is a broken way to think about the process.


If you want to make a masterpiece, you have to be willing to create a little garbage along the way.


Learning is easy. Application is hard. Most of the time we know what to do, but never do it. Doing it is the difference.


Push enough to make progress, but not so much that it is unsustainable.


Avoiding mistakes is an underrated way to improve. It's easier to fix errors than boost skills. Rather than do your best, avoid your worst.


If you can't win by being better, then win by being different.

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