James Clear

James Clear quotes on skills

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

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The two skills of modern business: Storytelling and spreadsheets. Know the numbers. Craft the narrative.


To improve, compare little things. -marketing strategies -exercise technique -writing tactics To be miserable, compare big things. -career path -marriage -net worth Comparison is the thief of joy when applied broadly, but the teacher of skills when applied narrowly.


Modeling a behavior is 100x stronger than telling someone to act differently. Kids imitate the habits of their parents. Teammates match the competitive energy of one another. Employees learn to manage like their supervisor. Be the standard and others will raise their standards.


Abilities that lead to intelligence: 1. The curiosity to experiment and explore. 2. The honesty to observe the world as it is, not as you wish it to be. 3. The humility to kill your favorite ideas when you learn something new. 4. The consistency to repeat this cycle for life.


Every skill you have was once unknown to you. The human brain is a learning machine. Stick with it.


One of the most underrated career skills that isn’t really taught anywhere is editing your own writing. Great writing is actually re-writing. Simplifying paragraphs. Clarifying key points. Double-checking for typos. Good writing will impress in any job.


Modern society is defined by an excess of opportunity. We have more information, more products, and more options than ever before. As a result, curating, filtering, and refining are more important skills than ever before. Those who edit best will find the signal in the noise.


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.


Increasingly, I believe getting rich and staying rich require different skills. Qualities needed for getting rich: -focused -optimistic -confident -lucky Qualities needed for staying rich: -diversified -pessimistic -humble -lucky Ideally, you’d learn to alternate as needed.


Increasingly, I feel curiosity and an eagerness to learn is the most crucial skill in life. If you're not curious, I'm not sure if there is much others can do to help you. But if you're eager to learn, even if you aren't particularly talented, then so much is possible.


Each day creates surface area for new opportunities. The longer you live, the more ideas, people, and options you encounter. Without active pruning, the natural path of any to-do list is to grow. As a result, a key skill in life is deciding what shouldn’t be done.


Think about self-control less as the quality of a person and more as the quality of a place. There are some places and situations that tend toward lower self-control and others that lean toward higher self-control. Self-control is about your context as much as your character.


Fact: Many studies have shown the ability to delay gratification is a crucial life skill and leads to greater success in a range of areas. Proposal: Those who appear to be good at delaying gratification are actually good at finding alternative ways to be satisfied in the moment.


To build better skills spend less time passively learning and more time actively practicing. Stop thinking and start doing.


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.

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