JAMES CLEAR Newsletter

3-2-1 Newsletter by James Clear“The most wisdom per word of any newsletter on the web.”

3-2-1: On obsessing over details, how to elicit feedback, and seeking what is significant

read onJAMESCLEAR.COM | MARCH 25, 2021

Happy 3-2-1 Thursday,

Here are 3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 question to consider for the week…

3 Ideas From Me


“Italy is known for tomatoes. Thailand for chilies. Germany for sauerkraut.

But tomatoes originated in Peru. Thailand imported chilies from Central America. Sauerkraut started in China.

Everything is a remix—and the world is better for it. Share what you know. Learn from others.”


A reminder from Atomic Habits:

“Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.

A small habit—when repeated consistently—grows into something significant.”

(Share this on Twitter)​


“People who excel tend to obsess over the details.

People who struggle also tend to obsess over the details.

The difference is what details they focus on. Minutiae vs polish.

Most things don’t matter—but when it does, you want to get the details right.”

(Share this on Twitter)​

2 Quotes From Others


Psychologist Adam Grant on how to elicit feedback:

“When people hesitate to give honest feedback on an idea, draft, or performance, I ask for a 0-10 score.

No one ever says 10. Then I ask how I can get closer to a 10.

It motivates them to start coaching me – and motivates me to be coachable. I want to learn how to close the gap.”

Source: Twitter


Linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky on seeking what is significant:

“You can’t expect somebody to become a biologist by giving them access to the Harvard University biology library and saying, “Just look through it.” That will give them nothing. The internet is the same, except magnified enormously.

The person who wins the Nobel Prize in biology is not the person who read the most journal articles and took the most notes on them. It’s the person who knew what to look for.

Cultivating that capacity to seek what’s significant, always willing to question whether you’re on the right track, that’s what education is going to be about, whether it’s using computers and internet, or pencil and paper and books.”

Source: The Purpose of Education (hat tip to Bret Victor)

1 Question For You

Does the amount of attention I’m giving this match its importance?

If you enjoyed that, please share with others.

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Did you know…

Did you know…

… that today is International Waffle Day? A day celebrating eating waffles is our kind of holiday! Originally celebrated in Sweden (thank you!), the world now embraces International Waffle Day. Trivia fans: The Pilgrims brought the first waffles to America and Thomas Jefferson came back from France with the first waffle irons. Now go out and enjoy some waffles!


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“It is the possibility that keeps me going, and though you may call me a dreamer or a fool or any other thing, I believe that anything is possible.”

— Nicholas Sparks

Wisdom Quotes

Old is whatever’s a decade older than I am.
I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am. (Francis Bacon)
Nobody is born with wisdom, but only those who seek it will find it.
We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. (Benjamin Franklin)


Did you know…

… that today is Dark Side of the Moon Day? On this day in 1973, Pink Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon in the U.K. They had released the album a week earlier in the United States on March 17. Since then there have been between 50 and 70 million copies sold!


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”

— Albert Einstein


LeitmotifLAYT-mo-teefPart of speech: nounOrigin: German, late 19th century
1a recurrent theme throughout a musical or literary composition, associated with a particular person, idea, or situation
Examples of Leitmotif in a sentence “Alexander Hamilton’s life and philosophical outlook is the leitmotif of this particular musical.” “The writers revisited the leitmotif of wealth leading to corruption as the play progressed.”

This day applauds the work of UN staff and peacekeepers, and commemorates those who lost their lives while working towards global peace. 

Content marketing ideas:     

  • Listicle idea: Courses you can take if you wish to work at the UN 
  • Infographic idea: What are the most dangerous zones for UN members to work in? 
  • Video idea: What are the different branches of the UN? 
  • Podcast idea: Steps to take for your safety when you are in a dangerous zone 

Earth Hour – 27 March 

Content marketing ideas:     

  • Listicle idea: X Resolutions to take with your family this Earth Hour 
  • Infographic idea: Here’s how the world has changed since the 1980s 
  • Video idea: A look at earth from space during Earth Hour 
  • Podcast idea: How does turning lights off for an hour help the planet?