Things I’ve Learned from James Clear

3 min read

James Clear is the author of Atomic Habits and the writer behind

Here is a list of things I’ve learned from him over the years.

Real Wealth is Having the Ability to Say “No”

  • Real wealth = saying no to meetings.
  • Real wealth = saying no to people you don’t want to be around.
  • Real wealth = saying no to events you don’t want to attend.
  • Real wealth = saying no to work you don’t want to do.

Know the 4 Types of Wealth

  • 1. Financial wealth (money)
  • 2. Social wealth (status)
  • 3. Time wealth (freedom)
  • 4. Physical wealth (health)
  • Be wary of jobs that lure you in with 1 and 2 but rob you of 3 and 4.

Repetition Leads to Greatness

  • Your first blog post will be awful. Your 1,000th will be great.
  • Your first workout will be pathetic. Your 1,000th will be great.
  • Your first meditation will be bad. Your 1,000th will be great.

4 Ingredients for Exceptional Results

  • Quantity: You take lots of shots.
  • Quality: You take thoughtful shots.
  • Consistency: You keep shooting for a long time.
  • Luck: You get a few favorable bounces.

3 Things that Often Resolve Stress & Anxiety

  • A 10-minute walk outside.
  • A glass of water.
  • A good night of sleep.

How to Be Unhappy

  • Stay inside all day.
  • Move as little as possible.
  • Take yourself too seriously.
  • Spend more than you earn.
  • Always consume, never contribute.
  • Resent successful people.
  • Never say hello first.

How to Be a Better Writer

  • Make one point per sentence.
  • Delete unnecessary intros.
  • Use stories.
  • Cut words like “very” and “really”
  • Read the whole thing out loud.

How to Double Your Productivity

  • Step 1: Stop reading articles on how to double your productivity.
  • Step 2: Start sleeping 8 hours per night.

Learn to 80/20 Your Life

  • 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 these.
  • 3. Eliminate, automate, or outsource the other things.
  • 4. Repeat.

Discipline Brings Freedom

  • The disciplined become the free.
  • Discipline with training leads to freedom from physical problems.
  • Discipline with saving and investing leads to freedom from money problems.

The Best Networking Strategy

  • Do interesting work.
  • Share your work in public.
  • Like-minded people will find you.

Negotiation Tips

  • Be able to walk away.
  • Be irreplaceable.
  • Have a second option.

Reading Makes You Smarter

  • Reading is food for the mind.
  • Reading teaches you what others already know.
  • Reading gives you a new way to interpret your past experiences
  • Re-read great books because you need to be reminded of the ideas in them.

Develop Superpowers

  • Long-term thinking is a superpower.
  • Not taking things personally is a superpower.

Say “No” Way More

  • Unfollow people.
  • Abandon projects.
  • Ignore topics.
  • Cut your number of commitments in half.
  • Discover what you want by eliminating what you don’t.

Optimize Your Process

  • Recognize that the process goes on forever.
  • Identify parts of the process you enjoy.
  • Adopt processes that increase your winning percentage.
  • If your outcomes aren’t improving, the process needs to change.

Join the Right Tribe

  • Join a group where your desired behavior is the normal behavior.
  • Surround yourself with people who have similar goals as you.

Be Patient

  • Keep working when things take longer than you expect.
  • Small daily habits lead to massive outcome gaps over time.
  • Aim to be great in 10 years, not 10 months.

Get Moving

  • Start small.
  • Start early.
  • Taking action is more important than finding the perfect strategy.
  • The path to the summit is not fully visible from the base camp.
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