James Clear

James Clear quotes on reading

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

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5 good minutes of: -pushups is a solid workout -sprints will leave you winded -writing can deliver 1 good page -reading can finish an insightful article -meditation can reset your mood You don’t need more time—just a little focused action.


The person who learns the most in any classroom is the teacher. Lesson: If you really want to learn a topic, then “teach” it. Write a book. Teach a class. Build a product. Start a company. The act of making something will force you to learn more deeply than reading ever will.


Be “selectively ignorant.” Ignore topics that drain your attention. Unfollow people that drain your energy. Abandon projects that drain your time. Do not keep up with it all. The more selectively ignorant you become, the more broadly knowledgable you can be.


Read books that are relevant to what you want to achieve and reading will never seem boring.


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.


The 3 meta-habits: Sleep - being well-rested improves performance on all other habits. Reading - you can learn how to improve any habit by reading. Questions - asking good questions continually provokes new insights for tweaking your habits.


What is the real goal? The real goal is not to “beat the market.” The goal is to build wealth. The real goal is not to read more books. The goal is to understand what you read. Don’t let a proxy become the target. Don’t optimize for the wrong outcome.


Anytime you think your idea is unique, you just haven't read widely enough.


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


Books are more likely to change minds than conversations. There is too much happening internally during conversation: - Did that sound stupid? - What do they think of me? - Will I lose the friendship over this opinion? Books can let you chew on an idea without social risk.


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.


The fastest way to iterate is to learn from others. - Read good books - Talk to people who have done it before - Soak up the lessons of the past Learn from the experiments history has already run and you can start the race halfway finished.


Before you ask for readers, write the article you wish you could read. Before you ask for the sale, create the product you wish you had. Before you need support, be the supportive friend. Before you need love, be the loving partner. Always give value before you ask for value.


When reading books or listening to podcasts or taking advice, remember that everyone is biased to their personal history. The world is complex and there is no single path to a success. Look for patterns that are repeated across many successful people, not single stories.


Reading can teach you the best of what others already know. Reflection can teach you the best of what only you can know.


Innovators are T-shaped. They are experts in a narrow field. But they also have a big intellectual toolbox, which offers new entry points and lines of attack for solving problems. Read widely. As the saying goes, "Know something about everything and everything about something."


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


A sure sign you haven’t done enough reading is if you find yourself agreeing with whatever book you read last. At first, it’s easy to be swayed by any reasonable argument. Once you’ve read a lot, you can see that even the best arguments have limitations.


One of the most incredible things about reading: A good book can give you a new way to interpret your past experiences. Whenever you learn a new mental model or idea, it's like the "software" in your brain gets updated. Suddenly, you can learn new lessons from old moments.


When an online course tells you how to make money in real estate remember they are making money by selling online courses. When a conference covers how to build an online business remember they are building an event business. Learn from what people do as much as what they say.


The 3-Step Cycle of Developing an Extraordinary Mind 1) Explore widely. Follow many people, listen to tons of podcasts, read more books. 2) Clean up your information feed. Subscribe to fewer newsletters, follow fewer people, re-read great books. All signal, no noise. 3) Repeat


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.


The ridiculous jargon and impossible-to-decipher writing style of academic papers is a loss for all of us. Read Feynman or Hawking or Popper and you‘ll see complex topics do not require complex writing. Instead, many of our brightest minds are effectively hiding their insights.


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


Charity can be a lifestyle, not merely an occasional gift. Read charitably. Give the author your most rational interpretation. Listen charitably. Donate your undivided attention. Work charitably. Be generous with your expertise. In this way, you make charity a daily habit.


The result of creativity and innovation is new ideas, but the cause of creativity and innovation is more ideas. The person with a bigger intellectual toolbox has more entry points and additional lines of attack to solve problems. Read widely. Explore broadly. Then apply.


Each day: 1. Read something. 2. Share something. 3. Make something. Your health & happiness will improve and we'll all be better off for it.


It is the responsibility of the writer to make it easy on the reader.


Don't ignore the answer just because you don't like the answer. You might not *like* tracking calories, but don't claim there is no way to lose weight. You might not *like* writing each day, but don't create excuses for your unfinished book. Solutions exist even when ignored.


Beware: When a certain worldview dominates your thinking, you’ll try to explain every problem you face through that worldview. Read widely.


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

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