James Clear

James Clear quotes on success

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

Twitter wisdom in your inbox

Never miss the the top tweets from James Clear with our email digest.


Your 1st blog post will be bad, but your 1000th will be great. Your 1st workout will be weak, but your 1000th will be strong. Your 1st meditation will be scattered, but your 1000th will be focused. Put in your reps.


Entrepreneur’s mind. Athlete’s body. Artist’s soul.


Success is largely the failures you avoid. Health is the injuries you don't sustain. Wealth is the purchases you don't make. Happiness is the objects you don't desire. Peace of mind is the arguments you don't engage. Avoid the bad to protect the good.


There are 3 primary drivers of results in life: 1) Your luck (randomness). 2) Your strategy (choices). 3) Your actions (habits). Only 2 of the 3 are under your control. But if you master those 2, you can improve the odds that luck will work for you rather than against you.


The success you see others experiencing is rarely as sexy as it appears to be.


Your success depends on the risks you take. Your survival depends on the risks you avoid.


When dreaming, imagine success. When preparing, imagine failure. When acting, imagine success.


You can be happy with who you are and still want to be better. You can love your body and still want to improve it. You can appreciate your financial state and still want to improve it. Progress doesn’t require self-loathing. You can feel successful along the way.


Systems are for people who care about winning repeatedly. Goals are for people who care about winning once.


A 5-step process for nearly anything: (1) Explore widely. Find out what is possible. (2) Test cheaply. Run small, quick experiments. Sample things. (3) Edit ruthlessly. Focus on the best. Cut everything else. (4) Repeat what works. Don't quit on a good idea. (5) Return to 1.


The secret to winning is learning how to lose. That is, learning to bounce back from failure and disappointment—undeterred—and continuing to steadily march toward your potential. Your response to failure determines your capacity for success.


Optimize for tomorrow—as in, literally, one day from now. Save to be a little richer tomorrow. Exercise to be a little fitter tomorrow. Read to be a little smarter tomorrow. 1% better every day.


How to handle rejection: -Learn from the experience -Keep your ego in check -Say thank you -Try again How to handle success: -Learn from the experience -Keep your ego in check -Say thank you -Try again


Run toward the next thing, not away from the last thing.


The fastest way to raise your level of performance: Cut your number of commitments in half.


Success is never due to one thing, but failure can be. Sleeping well won’t make you successful, but not sleeping enough will hold you back. Hard work is rarely enough without good strategy, but even the best strategy is useless without hard work. Necessary, but not sufficient.


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.


If you haven’t started, then taking action is more important than finding the best strategy. If you’re already taking action, then ensuring you’re working on the right thing is more important than working harder. Your effort sets your floor. Your strategy sets your ceiling.


Asking what makes someone successful is like asking which ingredient makes a recipe taste good. It’s not any single ingredient. It is the combination of many ingredients in the right proportions and in the right order—and the absence of anything that would ruin the mixture.


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.


In the long-run, the people who succeed are the ones who want to live the lifestyle that precedes the results. Stop asking, "What results do I want to have?" Start asking, "What lifestyle do I want to live?" It's common to want results. It's rare to want the lifestyle.


Why focus on the process when the world is outcome driven? Don’t results matter? Yes, results do matter. But if you optimize for the outcome, you win one time. If you optimize for a process that leads to great outcomes, you can win again and again.


Stories of failure resonate more than stories of success. Few people reach the top, but everyone has failed—including those who eventually succeed. If you're teaching people how to succeed in a given field (or talking about your own success), start with how you failed.


Success eats itself. The more successful you become, the more opportunities come your way. The more new things you take on, the less time you spend doing what made you successful in the first place. For success to persist, your threshold for saying yes must increase.


Whenever you see an overnight success, your eyes deceive you. What you are witnessing is the hour of opportunity unleashing the potential energy of previous choices. It was not one decision, but the accumulated power of all that came before. The fuse was lit on a loaded cannon.


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.


Before you dream about the view from the summit, ask yourself if you're willing to keep your head down, focus on the path, and spend your life walking up the side of a very big hill. It takes years of walking to earn a minute at the top.


Success is often a matter of luck and randomness, but it can be encouraged by effort and strategy.


Improvement is an endless game. You can finish: -building a profitable company -writing a bestseller -winning a championship You can never finish: -perfecting your craft -learning all you can -maximizing your potential The way to win is to master that which can never be won.


Slow and steady often wins because it keeps you motivated. Take on manageable challenges and you'll get frequent signals of progress. Bite off more than you can chew and progress stalls. When you make progress, you want to keep going. When you break progress, you want to stop.


Wild success requires aggressive elimination. You can't be great at everything.


Optimists win in the long-run because their miscalculation of how long it will take or how likely it is to succeed motivates them to give it a try. If you knew how hard it would be and how long it would take in the beginning then you might not try in the first place.


The more time you spend complaining about what you deserve, the less time you have to focus on what you can earn. Focus on what you can control.


A thought on strategy for work and life: Look for opportunities where you don’t have to be an outlier to succeed. (Then work as hard as you can to be the outlier.)


Making the most of your current opportunities is the best way to create future opportunities.


3 crucial questions to ask when considering a new opportunity: (1) Power: How can I find an advantage relative to others? (2) Probability: How likely am I to succeed? (3) Payoff: How large is the payoff if I succeed? Great opportunities are favorable on all 3 dimensions.


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.


The odds of success increase if: -you get more shots on goal -there is more than one way success can occur -there is a long time frame in which things can go right -you pursue a subset of strategies where the typical performance is better than the overall average.


Work on things that you care about getting right. It is nearly impossible to become exceptional in any field if you do not genuinely care about "getting it right."


Have no single point of failure. Have no single path to success.


The greater the success, the less it was due to one thing.


Planning for failure is a crucial part of success.


Whenever you succeed with a small habit, you add a little to your general ability to stick with good habits. With each repeated success, your ability grows as does your trust and confidence in yourself. Slowly, you develop the ability to be consistent even in tough conditions.


It costs nothing to ask a successful person how they succeeded, but it may deliver more value than 1,000 hours of hard work. Others are under no obligation to tell you their secrets, but it is surprising how much you can learn from sincere, direct, and thoughtful questions.


A principle for writing, investing, and life in general: It is much easier to notice when something is working than to predict ahead of time if it will work. Take action, make many small bets, and run lots of quick (but thoughtful) experiments. Then, double-down on the winners.


You can win a lot in life just by being the last one to give up.


From Chapter 1 of Atomic Habits: "It doesn’t matter how successful or unsuccessful you are right now. What matters is whether your habits are putting you on the path toward success. You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results."


Many people undermine success in the long-term by optimizing for status in the short-term.


An updated failure becomes a success. An unexamined failure remains a failure.


Sometimes greatness is the result of a transcendent, peak performance. But often, greatness is simply the result of a good performance repeated and sustained much longer than usual.

Get the top tweets via email

Never miss the the top tweets from James Clear with our email digest.

Get the James Clear email digest

Twitter wisdom in your inbox