Let me start by saying that after the Holy Bible, Atomic Habits is the next best resource I’ve deeply interacted with. Actually, it is my intellectual bible. It is the kind of book you carry around, reading a page here, sighing and meditation on a page there. This book follows me around. It sets my head straight when I feel lazy and complacent with my tasks. This is the book that has helped build routines and structures in my life. Atomic Habits by James Clear is an asset. I have not been the same since I started interacting with this book. Apart from the fact that it is written in simple and clear words, it is also easy to draw action steps from the different chapters in the book.
Here are 8 powerful quotes from Atomic Habits that have spurred me into action and pressed me into more productive ventures.
1. It is easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis. Too often we convince ourselves that massive success requires massive actions. Whether it is losing weight, building a business, writing a book, winning a championship or achieving any other goal, we put pressure on ourselves to make some earth-shattering improvement that everyone will talk about. Meanwhile, improving 1 percent isn’t particularly notable-sometimes it’s not even noticeable but it can be far more meaningful in the long run.
2. If you’re having a problem changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again, not because you don’t want to change but because you have a wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your system.
3. Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. You get what you repeat. If you want to predict where you’ll end up in life, all you have to do is follow the curve o tiny gains or tiny losses, and see how your daily choices will compound ten or twenty years down the line.
4. Outcomes are about what you get. Processes are about what you do. Identity is about what you believe. The real reason habits matter is not because they can get you better results, (although they can do that) but because they can change your beliefs about yourself.
5. The process of behaviour change starts with awareness.
6. The more you ritualize the beginning of a process, the more likely it becomes that you can slip into the state of deep focus that is required to do great things. Standardize before you optimize. You can’t improve a habit that doesn’t exist.
7. Behaviour that is incongruent with the self will not last. You may want more money but if your identity is someone who consumes more than creates, then you’ll continue to be pulled towards spending rather than earning. You may want better health but if you continue to prioritize comfort over accomplishment, you’ll be drawn to relaxing rather than training. It’s hard to change your habits if you never change the underlying beliefs that led to your past behaviour. You have a new goal and a new plan, but you haven’t changed who you are.
8. Although habits are powerful, what you need is a way to remain conscious of your performance over time, so that you can continue to refine and improve. It is precisely at the moment when you begin to feel like you have mastered a skill- right when things start to feel automatic and you become comfortable- that you must avoid slipping into the trap of complacency. The solution? Establish a system for reflection and review.
If you truly want to deal with procrastination and improve efficiency, Atomic Habits is for you. There is too much gold to be dug out of this book.
Which of these quotes by James Clear struck your heart the most? What action plans will you start to set for yourself?
Read other book reviews: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers- Can love be this real?
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