I first found out about Atomic Habits from the “Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast”. Craig talked highly of this work by James Clear, so naturally I had high expectations before reading. The book did not let me down! In fact, this might be the best book I’ve read in the last year.
My favorite books are the ones where my entire perspective shifts on a subject so much that it actually changes the way I live. There are many books that provoke a new idea, but few actually spark new action in my daily life.
I have always considered myself a “night owl” and I used this as an excuse to stay up late and sleep in. However, after reading this book I was inspired to put the author’s tips to work and see if I could become a "morning person".
For the last two weeks I have been waking up at 5am and I’m absolutely loving it! I have been getting more done in one day than I used to be able to accomplish in two. I have also found that with my extra quiet time in the morning I am able to have quality uninterrupted time in prayer and scripture.
I can’t recommend this book enough to anyone wanting to live a more disciplined life. It’s amazing how the habits we have can completely effect the quality of our days and ultimately our lives. The subtitle of the book is “tiny changes, remarkable results” and I have found this to be true!
Here my three takeaways from Atomic Habits
1. The key to success is your "boredom tolerance".
I found this concept to be enlightening. Our society tends to think the key to success is passion, but Clear argues that the difference maker is actually how well we are able to handle boredom. This is really a common sense idea when you begin to think about it. The person who goes to the gym consistently even when they don’t feel like it will be far more likely to be fit a decade from now than the person who only goes to the gym when motivation or passion is high. This is true for all areas of life. Anyone can start well, but those who keep working consistently after the motivation has worn off are the ones who will ultimately attain the goals they are chasing.
2. Good habits over time beat raw talent every time.
In the beginning of the book Clear tells his own success story with habits. He grew up loving baseball and had aspirations to one day play professionally like his father had before him. However, due to an injury Clear only played 11 innings of high school baseball. He walked on to his college baseball team and by his senior season was a star player on the team. He attributed his success to his commitment to his habits. While he didn’t fulfill his dream of playing professionally, Clear said he did something just as rare; he fulfilled his potential.
3. Habits are formed from identity not inspiration.
This idea was the biggest takeaway for me. Clear says that you can tell which smokers will be able to quit and those who will eventually cave into their craving by how they answer the following question, “Would you like a cigarette?”
If the person says, “No, I am trying to quit.” They will likely not be able to quit, because they are still identifying themselves as a smoker.
However, if the person says, “No, I am not smoker anymore.” they are far more likely to overcome their addiction, because they now identify themselves as the type of person who doesn’t smoke. It’s a matter of identity.
This takeaway alone was worth the price of the book for me. I was identifying myself as a night owl who was trying to wake up early. When I made the switch and began to truly believe I could be a morning person something amazing clicked. I began to enjoy waking up early. It is amazing how we hold ourselves back with our limiting beliefs about ourselves.
The audio version is 5 hours and 36 minutes. The audio for this book is read by the author and was recorded with excellent quality.
The physical version comes in at 320 pages. I found that this book was the perfect length. There wasn’t any point during the book where it seemed like the author was adding “fluff” to lengthen the book.
Buy or Pass?
This is definitely one you will want to buy! I loved this book and will be recommending and giving it out as a gift to many people in 2019. I believe this is the kind of book that you will find yourself turning back to as a reference for as long as you own it.
You can find out more about Atomic Habits by heading over to www.JamesClear.com/atomic-habits