This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book.
In 1687, Sir Isaac Newton published his groundbreaking book, The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, which described his three laws of motion. In the process, Newton laid the foundation for classical mechanics and redefined the way the world looked at physics and science.
One of the hardest things in life is to know when to keep going and when to move on. On the one hand, perseverance and grit are key to achieving success in any field. Anyone who masters their craft will face moments of doubt and somehow find the inner resolve to keep going.
With well over 50 billion dollars to his name, Warren Buffett is consistently ranked among the wealthiest people in the world. Out of all the investors in the 20th century, Buffett was the most successful.
How long does it take to become elite at your craft? And what do the people who master their goals do differently than the rest of us? That's what John Hayes, a cognitive psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University, wanted to know.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. In 1993, a bank in Abbotsford, Canada, hired a twenty-three-year-old stockbroker named Trent Dyrsmid.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. It can be tempting to blame failure on a lack of willpower or a scarcity of talent, and to attribute success to hard work, effort, and grit.
There are many benefits to reading more books, but perhaps my favorite is this: A good book can give you a new way to interpret your past experiences. Whenever you learn a new mental model or idea, it's like the “software” in your brain gets updated.
Sometime in the late 1800s—nobody is quite sure exactly when—a man named Vilfredo Pareto was fussing about in his garden when he made a small but interesting discovery. Pareto noticed that a tiny number of pea pods in his garden produced the majority of the peas.
Sometimes we make logical decisions. But there are many times when we make emotional, irrational, and confusing choices.
The natural tendency of life is to find stability. In biology we refer to this process as equilibrium or homeostasis. For example, consider your blood pressure. When it dips too low, your heart rate speeds up and nudges your blood pressure back into a healthy range.
In fact, I'm starting to believe that “Thank You” is the most under-appreciated and under-used phrase on the planet. It is appropriate in nearly any situation and it is a better response than most of the things we say.
Let’s pretend for a moment that you are a giraffe. You live on the grasslands of the African savanna. You have a neck that is 7 feet long (2.1 meters). Every now and then, you spot a group of humans driving around on a safari taking pictures of you.
Learning a new mental model gives you a new way to see the world, make decisions, and solve problems.
Many people, myself included, have multiple areas of life they would like to improve. For example, I would like to reach more people with my writing, to lift heavier weights at the gym, and to start practicing mindfulness more consistently.
The famous French philosopher Denis Diderot lived nearly his entire life in poverty, but that all changed in 1765. Diderot was 52 years old and his daughter was about to be married, but he could not afford to provide a dowry.
Deciding a level of importance for each task you have allows you to quickly organize which to do first, and which not to do at all.
In June of 2004, Arno Rafael Minkkinen stepped up to the microphone at the New England School of Photography to deliver the commencement speech.
First principles thinking, which is sometimes called reasoning from first principles, is one of the most effective strategies you can employ for breaking down complicated problems and generating original solutions. It also might be the single best approach to learn how to think for yourself.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. Change is hard. You've probably noticed that.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. Recently, I’ve been following a simple rule that is helping me stop procrastinating and making it easier for me to stick to good habits at the same time.
Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most successful comedians of all‐time. He is regarded as one of the “Top 100 Comedians of All–Time” by Comedy Central.
Your odds of success improve when you are forced to direct all of your energy and attention to fewer tasks.
According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40 percent of our behaviors on any given day. 1 Understanding how to build new habits (and how your current ones work) is essential for making progress in your health, your happiness, and your life in general.
The goal of this exercise was to envision the negative things that could happen in life. For example, the Stoics would imagine what it would be like to lose their job and become homeless or to suffer an injury and become paralyzed or to have their reputation ruined and lose their status in society.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. The fate of British Cycling changed one day in 2003.
On February 13, 1972, Michel Siffre climbed into a cave in southwest Texas. It would be six months before he saw daylight again. Siffre was a French scientist and a pioneer in chronobiology, which is the study of biological rhythms.
Sun Tzu was a legendary military strategist in ancient China and he is the author of the famous book, The Art of War. He was a master of “soft power” and the father of “agile warfare.
In 1966, a dyslexic sixteen-year-old boy dropped out of school. With the help of a friend, he started a magazine for students and made money by selling advertisements to local businesses. With only a little bit of money to get started, he ran the operation out of the crypt inside a local church.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. In 1955, Disneyland had just opened in Anaheim, California, when a ten-year-old boy walked in and asked for a job. Labor laws were loose back then and the boy managed to land a position selling guidebooks for $0.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. We all have goals and dreams, but it can be difficult to stay focused and stick with them.
Human beings have been blaming strange behavior on the full moon for centuries. In the Middle Ages, for example, people claimed that a full moon could turn humans into werewolves. In the 1700s, it was common to believe that a full moon could cause epilepsy or feverish temperatures.
In 1997, Warren Buffett, the famous investor and multi-billionaire, proposed a thought experiment. “The genie says you can determine the rules of the society you are about to enter and you can design anything you want.
Looking back, the most surprising thing about Robert Wadlow was his normal height and weight at birth. When he was born on February 22, 1918, Wadlow weighed 8 lbs 6 ounces (3.8 kg) and was 20 inches tall (0.51 m). There was nothing normal about what happened next.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. There is a common mistake that often happens to smart people — in many cases, without you ever realizing it.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. I've started to notice (partially because of my own failures), that there is one skill that is so valuable that it will make you a standout in any area of life, no matter what kind of competition you face.
This article includes an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. If you want to stick with a habit for good, one simple and effective thing you can do is keep a habit tracker.
In 1991, Lindsay Davenport played in her first professional tennis match. She was 15 years old. Over the next 20 years, Davenport would go on to have one of the greatest tennis careers in recent history. She won three different Grand Slam titles. She won the 1996 Olympic Gold Medal.
Not all uses of time are equal, and this simple truth can make a big difference in life. People who spend their time doing more profitable work make more money. People who spend their time investing in others build better relationships.
In the northeastern hills outside Kyoto, Japan there is a mountain known as Mount Hiei. That mountain is littered with unmarked graves. Those graves mark the final resting place of the Tendai Buddhist monks who have failed to complete a quest known as the Kaihogyo.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. John Henry Patterson was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1844. He spent his childhood doing chores on the family farm and working shifts at his father’s sawmill.
In 1666, one of the most influential scientists in history was strolling through a garden when he was struck with a flash of creative brilliance that would change the world. While standing under the shade of an apple tree, Sir Isaac Newton saw an apple fall to the ground.
Striving for excellence is not in itself bad, but don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
You’ve probably noticed that it’s hard to be motivated all the time. No matter what you are working on, there are bound to be days when you don’t feel like showing up. There will be workouts that you don’t feel like starting. There will be reports that you don't feel like writing.
As a society, we often overvalue unimportant things and undervalue the ideas and strategies that make a real difference. Here's my take on a few common beliefs that I think we often get wrong.
Have you ever wondered what makes someone a good athlete? Or a good leader? Or a good parent? Why do some people accomplish their goals while others fail? What makes the difference?
Time management can be tough. What is urgent in your life and what is important to your life are often very different things. This is especially true with your health, where the important issues almost never seem urgent even though your life ultimately hangs in the balance.
Setting limits for yourself — whether that involves the time you have to work out, the money you have to start a business, or the number of words you can use in a book — often delivers better results than “keeping your options open.”
It was September of 1816 and two Parisian boys were playing in the courtyard of the Louvre, the famous museum in Paris. On the other side of the courtyard, a physician named René Laennec began to quicken his pace as he walked along in the morning sun.
Agnes de Mille had just achieved the greatest success of her career, but right now the only thing she felt was confusion. She was a dancer and a choreographer. Early in her career, de Mille had created the choreography for a ballet called Three Virgins and a Devil.
The word priority didn't always mean what it does today. In his best-selling book, Essentialism (audiobook), Greg McKeown explains the surprising history of the word and how its meaning has shifted over time.
Audrey Hepburn was an icon. Rising to fame in the 1950s, she was one of the greatest actresses of her era. In 1953, Hepburn became the first actress to win an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a BAFTA Award for a single performance: her leading role in the romantic comedy Roman Holiday.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. Most people think that building better habits or changing your actions is all about willpower or motivation.
Maxwell Maltz was a plastic surgeon in the 1950s when he began noticing a strange pattern among his patients. When Dr. Maltz would perform an operation — like a nose job, for example — he found that it would take the patient about 21 days to get used to seeing their new face.
There is a common phenomenon in the world of personal finance called “lifestyle creep.” It describes our tendency to buy bigger, better, and nicer things as our income rises. For example, say that you receive a promotion at work and suddenly you have $10,000 more of income each year.
You follow your diet religiously for a week and then break it with a weekend binge. You commit to working out more, hit the gym for two days, and then struggle to get off the couch after a long day of work.
How did he do it? By following a simple strategy. He wrote 1,000 words per day. (That’s about 2 to 3 pages.) And he did it every day for 253 straight days.
Success in the gym, as with most things in life, comes down to mastering the basics. With that in mind, here are 6 exercise tips, weightlifting basics, the best exercises to start with, and training essentials that nobody wants to believe, but everyone should follow.
This simple switch flips your perspective for the better.
In the 1960s, a Stanford professor named Walter Mischel began conducting a series of important psychological studies.
You’ll wake up for about 25,000 mornings in your adult life, give or take a few. According to a report from the World Health Organization, the average life expectancy in the United States is 79 years old. Most people in wealthy nations are hovering around the 80–year mark.
There is a concept in chemistry known as activation energy. Activation energy is the minimum amount of energy that must be available for a chemical reaction to occur. Let's say you are holding a match and that you gently touch it to the striking strip on the side of the match box.
In the last 6 months, I’ve experimented with a simple strategy that has improved my work and my health. Using this one basic idea, I have made consistent progress on my goals every single week without incredible doses of willpower or remarkable motivation.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. We all have goals. And what's the first thing most of us think about when we consider how to achieve them?
From 1986 to 2011, Oprah Winfrey hosted The Oprah Winfrey Show. It was the highest rated talk show of all-time and familiar to nearly anyone who owned a television set in North America at that time.
Beginning with his first novel in 1847, Anthony Trollope wrote at an incredible pace. Over the next 38 years, he published 47 novels, 18 works of non-fiction, 12 short stories, 2 plays, and an assortment of articles and letters.
Someone walks into the gym, warms up, does a little bit of this exercise, does a little bit of that exercise, bounces around to a few machines, maybe hops on the treadmill, finishes their workout, and leaves the gym. This isn't a critique of their workout.
Bad habits interrupt your life and prevent you from accomplishing your goals. They jeopardize your health — both mentally and physically. And they waste your time and energy. So why do we still do them? And most importantly, is there anything you can do about it?
In my book New York Times bestselling book Atomic Habits, I explain that the process of building a habit can be divided into four simple steps: cue, craving, response, and reward. The image below shows the habit loop and how these four factors work together to build new habits.
How much time do you spend consuming information that you have no intention of taking action on or that you don't care deeply about? For example: the nightly news cycle of local crimes, the endless stream of Facebook and Twitter updates, celebrity gossip, reality TV shows, Buzzfeed articles.
Garry Kasparov and his long-time rival Anatoly Karpov—two of the greatest chess players of all-time—took their respective seats around the chess board. The 1990 World Chess Championship was about to begin.
Learning how to say no is one of the most useful skills you can develop, especially when it comes to living a healthy life. Say no to unnecessary commitments, and you have the time you need to recover and rejuvenate.
Late in his career, Steve Jobs famously drove his car without a license plate. There were all sorts of theories about why Jobs decided to drive without tags. Some people said he didn't want to be tracked. Others believed he was trying to make a game of avoiding parking tickets.
We all have goals that we want to achieve in our lives. These goals may include learning a new language, eating healthier and losing weight, becoming a better parent, saving more money, and so on.
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, my New York Times bestselling book. The Japanese railway system is regarded as one of the best in the world. If you ever find yourself riding a train in Tokyo, you’ll notice that the conductors have a peculiar habit.