83 pages 2 hours read

James Clear

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2018

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Important Quotes

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“Internal states—our moods and emotions—matter too. In recent decades, scientists have begun to determine the connection between our thoughts, feelings, and behavior.” 

(Introduction, Page 17)

In the Introduction, Clear lays out his approach to habit formation. He brings together cognitive and behavioral science to “account for both the influence of external stimuli and internal emotions of our habits” (Introduction, 17). This methodological approach contributes novel insights into habit formation. By clearly signalling the viewer what kind of source he will be drawing from, Clear provides signposting about what types of arguments the book will make. 

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“When you finally break through the Plateau of Latent Potential, people will call it an overnight success.” 

(Chapter 1, Page 15)

Mastery is a slow process that takes time. When you start a new habit, you often experience tangible gains quickly. However, there is a period where things seem to stagnate where improvement is less clear. Many people give up at this stage. If you push through, however, exponential gains come after this. Clear uses a melting ice-cube as an analogy. The ice has to hit a certain temperature before it melts, but the energy is being stored and things are happening behind the scenes. Persistence is key. Clear also highlights a key misconception that we tend to have about other people’s success. Because we do not see all of the work that went into getting to the level of mastery, success seems immediate. This can discourage us, causing us to give-up.