Top Quotes and important points from Atomic Habits

Published by Prabin Poudel 6 min read
Table of contents

Atomic Habit, a book by James Clear is a must read for anyone wanting to change or create a habit. It provides very practical ways to build good habits and break the bad ones.

Together with different strategies and tools to form a new habit, it also contains a range of mind striking quotes and points. Among them, there is one particular that I keep remembering:

A genius is not born, but is educated and trained.

I doubt I will ever forget this one. Below I have listed some of the quotes and points which I thought were important; chapter by chapter.

Introduction

  • We all deal with setbacks but in the long run,the quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits.
  • With the same habits, you’ll end up with the same results. But with better habits, anything is possible.
  • It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis.

How Your Habits Shape Your Identity

  • Are you reading books and learning something new each day? Tiny battles like these are the ones that will define your future self.
  • Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.
  • The real reason habits matter is not because they can get better results (although they can do that), but because they can change your beliefs about yourself.

How to Build Better Habits in Simple Steps

  • The ultimate purpose of habits is to solve the problems of life with as little energy and effort as possible.

The 1st Law: Make it Obvious

  • There are no good habits and bad habits. There are only effective habits.
  • The process of behavior change always starts with awareness. You need to be aware of your habits before you can change them.

Motivation is Overrated; Environment Often Matters More

  • Small changes in context can lead to large changes in behavior over time.

The Secret to Self Control

  • Once a habit is formed, it is unlikely to be forgotten.
  • People with high self control tend to spend less time in tempting situations. It’s easier to avoid temptation than resist it.

The 2nd Law: Make it Attractive

  • The more attractive an opportunity is, the more likely it is to become habit-forming.

The role of family and friends in shaping your habits

  • The culture we live in determines which behaviors are attractive to us.
  • We tend to adopt habits that are praise and approved of by our culture because we have a strong desire to fit in and belong to the tribe.
  • A genius is not born, but is educated and trained.
  • One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where (1) your desired behavior is the normal behavior and (2) you already have something in common with the group.
  • The normal behavior of the tribe often overpowers the desired behavior of the individual. Most days, we’d rather be wrong with the crowd than be right by ourselves.

The 3rd Law: Make it Easy

  • Walk slowly, but never backward.
  • The most effective form of learning is practice, not planning.
  • If you want to master a habit, the key is to start with repetition, not perfection.

The law of least effort

  • Business is a never ending quest to deliver the same result in an easier fashion.

How to stop procrastinating by using the two minute rule

  • The two minute rule states, “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.”

The 4th law: Make it satisfying

  • We are more likely to repeat a behavior when the experience is satisfying.
  • The cardinal rule of behavior change: What is immediately reqarded is repeated. What is immediately punished is avoided.
  • To get a habit to stick you need to feel immediately successful, even if it’s in a small way.
  • The vital thing in getting a habit to stick is to feel successful—even if it’s in a small way.
  • In the beginning, you need a reason to stay on track. This is why immediate rewards are essential. They keep you excited while the delayed rewards accumulate in the background.

How to stick with good habits everyday

  • Habits need to be enjoyable if they are going to stick.
  • One of the most satisfying feelings is the feeling of making progress.
  • A habit tracker is a simple way to measure whether you did a habit - like marking an X on a calendar.
  • Habit trackers and other visual forms of measurement can make your habits satisfying by providing clear evidence of your progress.
  • Don’t break the chain. Try to keep your habit streak alive.

How an accountability partner can change everything

  • An accountability partner can create an immediate cost to inaction. We care deeply about what others think of us, and we do not want others to have a lesser opinion of us.

The truth about talent (When genes matter and when they don’t)

  • The secret of maximizing your odds of success is to choose the right field of competition.
  • Genes cannot be easily changed, which means they provide a powerful advantage in favorable circumstances and a serious disadvantage in unfavorable circumstances.
  • Play a game that favors your strengths.
  • Genes do not eliminate the need for hard work. They clarify it. They tell us what to work hard on.
  • Until you work as hard as those you admire, don’t explain away their success as luck.

The Goldilocks rule: How to stay motivated in life and work

  • The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom.
  • As habits become routine, they become less interesting and less satisfying. We get bored.
  • No habit will stay interesting forever. At some point, everyone faces the same challenge on the journey of self improvement: you have to fall in love with boredom.
  • Stepping up when it’s annoying or painful or draining to do so, that’s what makes the difference between a professional and an amateur.
  • Anyone can work hard when they feel motivated. It’s the ability to keep going when work isn’t exciting that makes the difference.
  • Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.

The downside of creating good habits

  • Habits + Deliberate Practice = Mastery

Little Lessons from the Four Laws

  • Happiness is simply the absence of desire.
Confession time

I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested to read these types of blogs so I had ran the Twitter poll and got some decent response, so here we are! I had written down these points just so I can look at them in the future because I liked them, I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed noting them down.

If you have come this far, Congratulation! You have reached the end of the blog. Thank you for reading.

Image Credits: Cover Image by Lala Azizli from Unsplash