3 IDEAS FROM ME

I.

“A problem solving strategy:

If you’re stuck, shift up a level or two (think bigger picture) or down a level or two (think finer details). Many problems are solvable at a different level.

​This works for strategy too. You’ll often find a better opportunity at a different level.”


II.

“Practice is the price you pay today to be better tomorrow.”


III.

“Merely believing you deserve something doesn’t make it a reality… but believing you don’t deserve something will prevent you from trying.

Most people are capable of more than they believe. Confidence won’t automatically get you results, but self-doubt sets your ceiling.”

2 QUOTES FROM OTHERS

I.

John W. Gardner was the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Lyndon Johnson and a recipient of the 1964 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In this passage, he describes the importance of tough-minded optimism:

“Optimism is unfashionable today, particularly among intellectuals. Everyone makes fun of it. Someone said, “Pessimists got that way by financing optimists.” But I am not pessimistic and I advise you not to be.

“…a tough-minded optimism is best. The future is not shaped by people who don’t really believe in the future. Men and women of vitality have always been prepared to bet their futures, even their lives, on ventures of unknown outcome. If they had all looked before they leaped, we would still be crouched in caves sketching animal pictures on the wall.

“But I did say tough-minded optimism. High hopes that are dashed by the first failure are precisely what we don’t need. We have to believe in ourselves, but we mustn’t suppose that the path will be easy, it’s tough. Life is painful, and rain falls on the just, and Mr. Churchill was not being a pessimist when he said “I have nothing to offer, but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” He had a great deal more to offer, but as a good leader he was saying it wasn’t going to be easy, and he was also saying something that all great leaders say constantly — that failure is simply a reason to strengthen resolve.”

Source: Personal Renewal

(Note: I could have quoted most of this speech by Gardner. It was so good that I added it to my list of great speeches.)


II.

Maya Angelou, the wise and widely-admired poet and author, on courage:

“[Courage is] the most important of all the virtues. Without that virtue you can’t practice any other virtue with consistency.”

Source: The Art of Fiction No. 119

1 QUESTION FOR YOU

Look at each item on your to-do list and ask, “Is this truly necessary?”

Until next week,

James Clear
Author of the New York Times bestselling book, Atomic Habits
Creator of The Habits Academy and the Habit Journal

P.S. A genie grants you three wishes

Join Me

Thanks for reading. You can get more actionable ideas in my popular email newsletter. Each week, I share 3 short ideas from me, 2 quotes from others, and 1 question to think about. Over 1,000,000 people subscribe. Enter your email now and join us.

P.S. Want short reminders on how to build better habits? Follow me on Twitter and Instagram.