Atomic Habits by James Clear is the answer to all the questions plaguing our minds as we think of our goals. Our life is essentially a culmination of our choices–choices are determined by habits and habits by our thinking. Our habits are created by a routine we constitute for ourselves. Habits essentially form the growth trajectory of our life.
We are often enamored by success stories and blown away by the ‘hustle’ mindset. ‘Overnight’ success stories and terrible life events that motivated people into transforming their lives are classic themes observed across biopics. The 2hr movie with carefully crafted camera angles and invigorating music makes us almost romanticize the idea of an extraordinary defining event that will somehow nudge us to miraculous growth. Clear vehemently disagrees with the ideology and asserts that the growth that we intend to bring into our lives is not associated with the happening of a significant change.
A slight change in your daily habit can guide your life to a completely different destination. A 1% improvement each day can accumulate and help magnify our improvement to up to 37.78% in a year. Habits in tiny ways can alter the course of our life completely. It is a combination almost like a layered cake that comprises the outcomes, the systems, and the identity.
Like every good self-help book, there are three prescribed ways in which one can evaluate oneself. Outcomes stand for the results we are looking for. For instance, if our goal is losing weight it becomes our outcome. However, a vague goal is worse than a bad habit. An outcome must be specific, quantifiable, and reasonable. However, it observed that post the completion of one’s goals we tend to slip back into the same set of bad habits as before. Systems can assure long-term growth that can further cross the purview of goals. It is an assurance of the longetivity of the systems. The third layer makes the identity. An identity can make habits last subconsciously. By building an identity, we make the subconscious conscious.
The book further is shaped around 4 laws namely-
Law 1 – Make it Obvious
Law 2 – Make it Attractive
Law 3 – Make it Easy
Law 4 – Make it Satisfying
The above tricks can make it easier to build a habit and make sure it lasts. It also speaks extensively of the connection of dopamine to our daily activities that drives a 4 stage framework comprises- cue, craving, response, and reward. Built around this framework, combining behaviour together, reducing friction and making tiny changes compound into massive transformations can really help to change the growth trajectory of an individual’s life.
A book that deserves space on every bookshelf-Atomic habits by James Clear.