"Some lessons have to be experienced to be learned."

- James Clear

"People often think that something "far off" will make them happy. That moving to a new place or getting a different job or meeting someone new will change how they feel. But happiness will always be withheld if you believe it is somewhere else. The secret is to find happiness in the people and places that are close to you. See the beauty in the things that are nearby."

- James Clear

"Anxiety is thought without control.

Flow is control without thought."

- James Clear

"One sign you haven’t done enough reading is if you find yourself agreeing with whatever book you read last. At first, it’s easy to be swayed by any reasonable argument. Once you’ve read a lot, you can see that even the best arguments have limitations."

- James Clear

"Many people care more about being right than being happy."

- James Clear

"The myth is that there isn't enough time. There is plenty of time. There isn't enough focus with the time you have. You win by directing your attention toward better things."

- James Clear

"The best way to change the world is in concentric circles: start with yourself and work your way out from there."

- James Clear

"10 years or 1 hour. Those are the two time frames worth prioritizing.

10 years is shorthand for thinking longer-term than nearly everyone else and doing things that are really ambitious or meaningful. Most of the deeply meaningful things in life require long time horizons: building a business, cultivating a happy marriage, growing a family, getting in the best shape of your life, etc.

How do you work toward the 10-year things? In 1 hour increments. 1 hour is shorthand for doing things that can be accomplished from start to finish in a single session like a good workout, a good writing session, reading a chapter of a book, going on a fun date, etc. The key is that you finish with something accomplished, not with half-work still waiting to be completed.

If you spend 1 hour working toward a 10-year project—and you repeat this day after day—you’re going to end up living a lovely life."

- James Clear

"Water never complains, but always pushes back. Always.

Drop a boulder in front of a stream and the water will simply flow around it, taking whatever opening the landscape will give or—when nothing is offered—patiently building up its resources until it rises to a height where a new gap is found.

Flow like water. Never complain, but always push back."

- James Clear

"On any given day, you may struggle with your habits because you're too busy or too tired or too overwhelmed or hundreds of other reasons. Over the long run, the real reason you fail to stick with habits is that your self-image gets in the way. This is why you can’t get too attached to one version of your identity.

Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity."

- James Clear

"Create your life rather than live it."

- James Clear

"The connective tissue between your failures and your successes is the lessons you learn along the way.

It is only by going through your early attempts (usually failures in some form) that you accumulate the insights, skills, and understanding required for success.

Everything is a lesson. Learn enough lessons and the failures become useful."

- James Clear

"Focus starts with elimination, improves with concentration, and compounds with continuation."

- James Clear

"What you do on your ordinary days determines what you can achieve on your extraordinary days."

- James Clear

"If you never question things, your life ends up being limited by other people’s imaginations.

Take the time to think and dream, to question and reconsider. It is better to be limited by what you can dream for yourself than by where you fit in someone else’s dream."

- James Clear

"Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity."

- James Clear

"Your calendar is a better measure of success than your bank account."

- James Clear

"You don’t always get to choose the load, but you can choose how to carry it."

- James Clear

"Persistence and variety. These are the two primary ways to develop great ideas or to solve important problems.

Keep leaning your head against a topic for a long time. Certainly for weeks, possibly for years. And along the way, try many lines of attack. Continue to generate options, explore paths, and propose silly ideas. Copy and paste concepts from widely different disciplines and see if it gets you anywhere. All the while, continue to refine the best solution you’ve found thus far.

What looks like genius may simply be the byproduct of persistence and variety."

- James Clear

"Power is influence over external events.

Peace is influence over internal events."

- James Clear

"One good day does not mean you can coast tomorrow. You never have it fully licked. Making good choices is an endless process. Many areas of life that we value most—our relationships, our fitness, our craft—require a continual commitment."

- James Clear

"Every transaction is paid for at least three times. First, with the money you pay. Second, with the time you spend. Third, with the reputation you create through your behavior.

Being pleasant, reliable, and easy to work with might cost you a little more time. Perhaps even a bit of extra money. But the long-term returns from a great reputation usually outweigh the cost of a single transaction.

Most of the value in life and in business arises out of good relationships."

- James Clear

"The brilliance of the stars would be invisible without the vast darkness of space behind them.

Do not wish away the difficult portions of life. They provide the contrast needed to appreciate the joyful moments."

- James Clear

"Whatever age you are today, your future self would love to be it.

Most people do not consider 65 to be a young age… but when you're 75, you'd love to rewind to 65 and regain those years. Few people would describe 35 as your youth, but in your mid-50s your mid-30s will seem like the “young you.”

Today is a great opportunity, no matter your age. Looking back in a few years, today will seem like the time when you were young and full of potential or the moment when you could have started early or the turning point when you made a choice that benefited your future.

The moment in front of you right now is a good one. Make the most of it."

- James Clear

"Each day is a small lifetime. Live a good life today."

- James Clear

"If you're unwilling to adapt to the future, you'll justify the past."

- James Clear

"Do not confuse things that are hard with things that are valuable.

Many things in life are hard. Just because you are giving a great effort does not mean you are working toward a great result.

Make sure that mountain is worth climbing."

- James Clear

"Knowledge is making the right choice with all the information.

Wisdom is making the right choice without all the information."

- James Clear

"On the ground, a rock is just a rock. But when moving at high speed through the atmosphere, a rock becomes a meteor—alive with fire and burning bright.

People are not so different. Without activity, we are lifeless and dull. When moving fast and taking action, we come alive."

- James Clear

"Remove the branches of a thorn bush today and you'll avoid a scrape this year. But next year, you'll face the same problem again.

Remove the root of the bush today, and the entire plant will die.

Are you solving problems at the branch level or the root level?"

- James Clear

"The most important battles must be fought anew each day.

Exercising today does not render tomorrow's workout unnecessary.

Supporting your spouse today does not mean you can mail it in tomorrow.

Learn to love the endless nature of things and life gets easier."

- James Clear

"Many good opportunities are ruined for the dream of slightly better ones.

Would you have a more successful career if you had taken that other job or moved cities? Possibly. But your actual career will definitely suffer if you don't commit to doing it to the best of your ability.

Would you be 10% happier in a different relationship? Maybe. Maybe not. But you'll definitely be unhappy in the one you have if you spend all day thinking about what else is out there.

The surefire way to end up worse off is to agonize over unchosen options and fail to make the most of the one you selected. Every minute spent yearning for your unlived lives is a moment you can't invest in the one you actually have.

Choices matter, but so does your level of commitment."

- James Clear

"For those who expect everything, there are many curses.

For those who appreciate everything, there are many blessings."

- James Clear

"The greatest rewards in life are often delayed. The financial benefits of work and investing. The emotional benefits of marriage and friendship. The psychological benefits of creating something that matters. Meaningful outcomes take a long time to grow and compound.

Furthermore, most pursuits involve other people: coworkers, spouses, children, peers. If you want your results to continue to grow, then you need relationships that last.

One of the essential ingredients for success is being pleasant and trustworthy because it allows whatever you are building—a business, a relationship, a project—to continue. Many relationships disintegrate before the rewards accumulate."

- James Clear

"When rain falls, it flows downhill. If desired, you can collect the rain in a bucket and carry it uphill, but the natural tendency of water is to flow toward the lowest point.

Most situations in life have a tendency—a direction in which things want to flow. You can choose to go against the flow (just as you can choose to carry water uphill), but your results tend to be better when you find a way to work with the gradient of the situation.

Position yourself to benefit from the external forces at hand and you will get more from the same unit of effort. Energy is conserved and results are multiplied."

- James Clear

"The person who gets 1 shot needs everything to go right.

The person who gets 1000 shots is going to score at some point.

Find a way to play the game that ensures you get a lot of shots"

- James Clear

"The world contains far more information than any single person can learn in their lifetime.

The question is not whether you are ignorant, but what you choose to be ignorant about.

Few topics are worth your precious time. Choose what you pay attention to with great care."

- James Clear

"If you're not working hard, ideas don’t matter. The best idea is worthless without execution.

If you're already working hard, ideas are crucial. Most effort is wasted on mediocre ideas."

- James Clear

"Doing it right is hard. Doing it over is harder."

- James Clear

"Most people optimize for the day ahead. A few people optimize for 1-2 years ahead. Almost nobody optimizes for 3-4 years ahead (or longer).

The person who is willing to delay gratification longer than most reduces competition and gains a decisive advantage.

Patience is power."

- James Clear

"We often make choices based on immediate outcomes. What can I do to experience a little joy in the next 30 minutes? What can I accomplish in the next hour?

But if you always expect to get a little bit of reward for a little bit of effort, then you often overlook actions that lead to greater payoffs down the road. The relationship between input and output is rarely linear.

The course of action that could provide greater happiness, meaning, or satisfaction in the long run may not make you happy in the next 30 minutes."

- James Clear

"Nearly everything in life is unfavorable once it grows to a certain size.

It is entirely possible to have too many clients, too much work, too much fame, too much free time, and so on.

Pay attention to when the thing you're chasing exceeds its usefulness."

- James Clear

"The more you create, the more powerful you become.

The more you consume, the more powerful others become."

- James Clear

"You only need to know the direction, not the destination.

The direction is enough to make the next choice."

- James Clear

"Life is easier when you know what you want—but most people don't take the time to figure out what they want.

It's not that we are completely lost, but our efforts are often slightly misdirected. People will work for years and ultimately achieve a lifestyle that isn't quite what they were hoping for—often, simply, because they never clearly defined what they wanted.

An hour of thinking can save you a decade of work."

- James Clear

"Nobody is rooting for you to fail.

Maybe you’ll succeed. Maybe you’ll fail. For the most part, nobody cares one way or the other.

This is a good thing! The world is big and you are small, and that means you can chase your dreams with little worry for what people think."

- James Clear

"We cannot control our luck—good or bad—but we can control our effort and preparation. Luck smiles on us all from time to time. And when it does, the way to honor your good fortune is to work hard and make the most of it."

- James Clear

"Different meanings can be assigned to the same events.

Look for evidence of how the world is encouraging you, and you will find it.

Look for evidence of how the world is burdening you, and you will find it.

Choose an explanation that empowers you."

- James Clear

"The Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change:

What gets rewarded, gets repeated. What gets punished, gets avoided.

Don’t reward behavior you don’t want to see repeated."

- James Clear

"Strangely, life gets harder when you try to make it easy.

Exercising might be hard, but never moving makes life harder.

Uncomfortable conversations are hard, but avoiding every conflict is harder.

Mastering your craft is hard, but having no skills is harder.

Easy has a cost."

- James Clear

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