The 3-2-1 Newsletter: 3 ideas from me, 2 quotes from others, 1 question to ponder.
3-2-1: The 80/20 Principle, mastery, and the importance of asking questions
April 30, 2020 | by James Clear
“The most wisdom per word of any newsletter on the web.”
Happy 3-2-1 Thursday,
Earlier this week, I sat down with author and philosopher Sam Harris to discuss habits, behavior change, and continuous improvement. You can listen to the first 30 minutes of our conversation on the Making Sense podcast. Click here to listen.
For those of you that are familiar with my philosophy, it will be a nice refresher. For the rest of you, a good introduction. Either way, I hope you’ll enjoy it. (Note: The full conversation is over one hour long, but is only available to those who pay for full episodes of Sam’s podcast.)
Now, on to the main event. Here are 3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 question to think about this week.
3 IDEAS FROM ME
Not taking things personally is a superpower.
How to 80/20 your work:
(1) Make a list of the 10 things you spend the most time on.
(2) Circle the two that truly drive your results. Do more of those.
(3) Look at the others. Eliminate ruthlessly. Automate or outsource what you can. Press pause on the rest.
The first mistake is never the one that ruins you. It’s the spiral of repeated mistakes that follows.
The problem is not slipping up; the problem is thinking that if you cannot do something perfectly, then you shouldn’t do it at all…
For more on this idea, see Chapter 16 of Atomic Habits.
2 QUOTES FROM OTHERS
Raymond Joseph Teller, one half of the magic duo Penn & Teller, on the process of mastery:
“Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect.”
Source: The Honor System
A proverb on the importance of asking questions:
“The person who asks is a fool for five minutes, but the person who does not ask remains a fool forever.”
Source: This one is tough to pin down. It’s possibly a quote from Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, which has gradually become misattributed as Chinese proverb. There is also a similar Japanese proverb: “To ask is a temporary shame, not to ask a life-long shame.”
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
A simple question that may help reveal the positive side of the current moment:
What does this make possible?
Until next week,
P.S. We’re in this together.